Caja del Rio Coalition Requests a 60-Day Extension of Time to Comment about Proposed LANL Electrical Line

On December 19th, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) released a draft environmental assessment that would allow the installation and operation of a 14-mile, 115 kiloVolt overhead electrical line basically in parallel to the two electrical lines that already cross the Caja del Rio Plateau and the Rio Grande to the Pajarito Plateau, where LANL is located.  It is named the Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade, or EPCU Project. A thirty-day public comment period was announced, ending on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024.

The Caja del Rio Coalition submitted a request for an extension of the public comment period for sixty days, or until March 17, 2024.

They stated:

“The public has shown significant interest in the EPCU Project, which has the potential to adversely impact ecological and cultural resources on the Caja del Rio plateau.  An extension is needed to accommodate the fact that the current comment period falls across numerous federal and major holidays, including but not limited to Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The comment period also overlaps with multiple Pueblo feast days and events, and will occur during a major shift in Pueblo leadership.  Given the significance of this project and the fact that many Pueblos will have new incoming leadership, it is important that adequate time be given to engage in meaningful Tribal consultation.”

The letter continues:  “A time extension is needed to ensure that people and communities are not forced to choose between practicing their religious and traditional customs and their ability to meaningfully participate in the public process for the EPCU Project.”  231219 Caja del Rio Request for Extension EPCU

As of this writing, the Coalition has not received a response from LANL.,

However, on December 20th, Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, and Congresswomen Teresa Leger Fernández and Melanie Stansbury, wrote to Dr. Jill Hruby, the National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator, supporting the request for an extension of time to March 17, 2024 to provide informed and meaningful comments about the EPCU. 2023.12.20 Letter to NNSA re Caja del Rio Transmission Line

the The Caja Coalition is “a diverse group of individuals, organizations, elected leaders, Pueblo leaders, spiritual leaders, conservationists, outdoor recreation enthusiasts and more who all share one thing in common:  a commitment to preserving the beauty, history, water and wildlife of the Caja del Rio.”

The Coalition pointed to other issues in their letter, including:

“A time extension is also needed to allow interested organizations, sovereign governments, communities, and individuals to better consider the implications of the proposal. The EPCU Project implicates a web of complex issues demanding considerable scrutiny, including but not limited to the following proposals:

  • “to amend the Santa Fe National Forest Land Management Plan, which was recently approved in August 2022 after a long and arduous public process; and
  • “for the Bureau of Land Management to grant a right-of-way for this project.”

  1. Your financial support makes a difference! Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at Your contribution keeps you informed through our weekly Update broadcast and social media postings.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!



  1. Friday, December 29th from noon to 1 pm MT ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.



  1. Wednesday, January 3rd, the City of Santa Fe’s Quality of Life Committee will consider amendments to the proposed resolution opposing plutonium pit production at LANL. Ask your councilors to support the amendments to include the EPCU Project concerns.



  1. Monday, January 8thNM Public Regulation Commission hearing about the proposed New Mexico Gas Company LNG plant in Bernalillo County – public comments needed. For more info: ,



  1. Tuesday, January 9th Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners will consider sending a letter to LANL asking for an extension of time to submit comments. Please ask your Commissioner to support the letter.



  1. Wednesday, January 10th City of Santa Fe Council will consider the amended resolution opposing plutonium pit production at LANL to include concerns about the proposed Electric Power Capacity Upgrade, EPCU, Project at its first meeting of 2024. Ask your councilors to support the amendments to include the EPCU Project concerns.



  1. NEW DATE: Holloman 5 Anti-Drone Trial rescheduled to Thursday, January 11th in Otero County, NM.



  1. Wednesday, January 17, 2024 –Public Comments due about Los Alamos National Laboratory Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade Project Draft Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-2911) for construction and operation of a new 115 kilovolt (kV) power transmission line and upgrading LANL’s existing infrastructure. Sample public comments for you to use at  The Draft EA is available in the NNSA NEPA Reading Room at: or directly at 



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


No comments so far.

  • Leave a Reply
    Your gravatar
    Your Name