CCNS and HOPE Petition for Mandamus from New Mexico Supreme Court
CCNS and Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE) filed a Verified Petition for An Original Writ of Mandamus with the New Mexico Supreme Court about the improper regulation by the Water Quality Control Commission of the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. CCNS and HOPE have argued for more than a decade that the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility is legally required to be regulated by the federal and state hazardous waste laws.
LANL has admitted that the Facility handles, treats and stores hazardous waste, which means that it is subject to regulation under the hazardous waste laws, but neither LANL nor the Water Quality Control Commission will concede that the Facility must be regulated by the hazardous waste laws. The hazardous waste laws are more protective of human health and the environment, including the requirement of a seismic analysis.
CCNS and HOPE have opposed the issuance of a groundwater discharge permit, DP-1132, under the Water Quality Act for the Facility. The petition for a writ of mandamus asks the New Mexico Supreme Court to order the Commission to perform its statutory duty and reverse the permit.
LANL has flatly opposed lawful regulation under the state Hazardous Waste Act. LANL even secretly hired two New Mexico Environment Department hearing officers during state proceedings about the unfounded groundwater discharge permit.
But under the law any facility managing hazardous waste must have a Hazardous Waste Act permit. Further, the Water Quality Act contains a specific provision that it “does not apply to any activity or condition subject to the …. Hazardous Waste Act.” § 74-6-12.B NMSA 1978.
In reality, CCNS and HOPE argue, “Protection of New Mexico citizens and communities is undermined by applying the [Water Quality Act] to the [Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility] instead of the [Hazardous Waste Act], which the law requires. The [Water Quality Act] authorizes regulation of a discharge towards ground water but cannot regulate a hazardous and radioactive waste treatment facility.” Petition, ¶ 13.
CCNS and HOPE appealed DP-1132 to the Water Quality Control Commission in June. In the following eight months, the Commission has stayed the proceedings; denied any consideration of the prohibition in the Water Quality Act, and ignored the legal rights of CCNS and HOPE. https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ , scroll down to Water Quality Control Commission to WQCC 22-21 CCNS and HOPE Petition for Review of NMED Ground Water Discharge Permit DP-1132.
The mandamus petition asks the Supreme Court either to reverse DP-1132 because the New Mexico Water Quality Act does not apply; or, alternatively, to vacate the Commission’s stay of all proceedings and to vacate all orders issued by the hearing officer who was hired by LANL. Petition, ¶ 12.
Lindsay A. Lovejoy, Jr., represents CCNS and HOPE. http://lindsaylovejoy.com/
- Friday, February 24th from noon to 1 pm – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi and others.
- Tuesday, February 28th at 8 am MT; 10 am ET – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will livestream its hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment: How Congress Can Recognize Ratification and Enshrine Equality in Our Constitution. To view the livestream: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/the-equal-rights-amendment-how-congress-can-recognize-ratification-and-enshrine-equality-in-our-constitution For more information: https://www.eracoalition.org/
- Sunday, March 5th from 1 to 5 pm – March in Love for Life for Nuclear Disarmament, organized by the Donald & Sally-Alice Thompson Chapter and Joan Duffy Chapter of the Veterans for Peace.
Meet at 1 pm on at the Morningside Park, at 299 Morningside Drive, SE, Albuquerque, NM. The Raging Grannies will sing between speeches by representatives of the march sponsors. The march will start on Lead Avenue, east on Zuni to Louisiana Blvd (on the south side of Zuni), south on Louisiana to gate of Sandia/KAFB. March finishes at the gate by 4 to 4:30 pm. Sag (support and gear) vehicles for those who would march part of the route or none of the route. Porta-potty available along the route. For more information, contact Elizabeth Smith at email@example.com and Bill Tiwald at firstname.lastname@example.org
- March 9 and 10, 2023 – ICAN and ICAN Norway are hosting the ICAN Act on It Forum in Oslo, Norway. You are invited to join campaigners, youth, politicians, academics and others interested in nuclear disarmament to amplify voices demanding the end of unlawful and inhumane nuclear weapons. March 2023 is the 10th anniversary of the first conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, hosted by Norway. https://www.icannorway.no/
- April 1st to 7th – Join the Sacred Peace Walk, an interfaith journey of approximately 60 miles from Las Vegas to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) (formerly the Nevada Test Site), through the Great Basin Desert in Nevada, on the beautiful traditional lands of the Indigenous Western Shoshone and Paiute Peoples, bringing the message of non-violence to the test site and Creech AFB (the center of drone warfare and assassination for the US military and the CIA). For more information, contact the Nevada Desert Experience at email@example.com and http://nevadadesertexperience.org/
- April 15th to 22nd – Shut Down Drone Warfare – Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico – “From Tax Day to Earth Day, Rise Up!” Co-sponsored by CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace and Ban Killer Drones. Join for a week of peaceful resistance against drone warfare and out-of-control U.S. empire. Why Holloman? It is the largest-drone training base in the U.S. – training 600 or more drone pilots and operators annually. For more information: http://www.shutdowndronewarfare.org/
Tags: CCNS, federal and state hazardous waste law, Hazardous Waste Act, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, HOPE, Jr., LANL, Lindsay A. Lovejoy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Supreme Court, Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, RLWTF, Verified Petition for An Original Writ of Mandamus, Water Quality Act, Water Quality Control Commission, WQCC, WQCC 22-21, §7 4-6-12.B NMSA 1978