Comments to NMED Needed in Support of Excavation of LANL Dump C by November 6th
Please join the effort to submit public comments in support of the excavation of a 12-acre unlined dump at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Public comments are due to the New Mexico Environment Department by Monday, November 6th at 5 pm Mountain Time. Email your comments to email@example.com or use the NMED Public Comment Portal at https://nmed.commentinput.com/comment/search for the NMED Statement of Basis Material Disposal Area C at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
According to LANL logbooks, the dump called Material Disposal Area C, or MDA C, first received radioactive, toxic and hazardous liquid, gaseous and solid wastes in 1948. Disposal operations ended in 1974. There are six disposal pits, one chemical disposal pit, and 108 shafts. All are unlined, which allows the buried wastes to migrate into water, air, and soil. For the past 75 years, contaminated waste has been migrating towards regional drinking water supplies.
As required by the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act, in September the Department released a Statement of Basis in support of its decision to excavate MDA C. 230907 HWB_LANL_Statement-of-Basis-MDA-C Citing examples of excavation of other alphabetically-named MDAs, including B and P, NMED made the case that excavation is the most protective alternative. Please support the NMED decision by submitting your comments.
For more information go to: https://nmed.commentinput.com/comment/search and scroll down to Material Disposal Area (MDA) C, SWMU 50-009, Remediation for the Public Notice, Statement of Basis, June 30, 2021 DOE/LANL Corrective Measures Evaluation Rev. 1 for MDA C, and the Index to the Administrative Record for MDA C Statement of Basis.
The Department explained that volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are present directly below the dump at depths of approximately 600 feet below ground surface, demonstrating an estimated travel time of 8 feet per year. Some VOCs can cause cancer; others react to form air pollutants once they are in the air.
The Department stated, “For maximum protection of public and environmental health and safety, and to ensure that the drinking water resource can be conservatively protected, [the Department] has determined that … excavation, plume monitoring, and institutional controls, along with a passive and active soil-vapor extraction system at MDA C to remove the waste and eliminate the VOC contaminate source detected in soil … is the most appropriate cleanup measure.”
LANL’s preferred plan included installation of an evapotranspiration, or ET, cover over the dump. The Department raised concerns that burrowing animals and deep roots have penetrated other ET covers and opened pathways for contaminants to escape. Even with LANL’s “institutional controls” to monitor groundwater for 100 years, during that time the contamination would migrate 800 feet deeper into the regional drinking water aquifer.
Public comments are due to the Environment Department on Monday, November 6th by 5 pm Mountain. CCNS has prepared sample public comments you can use to support the Environment Department’s recommendation to protect drinking water through the excavation of the MDA C dump. 231026 MDA C sample comment letter to NMED
- Friday, October 27th 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.
- Saturday, October 28th from 2 – 5 pm – Halloween Skate Jam! At Valdez Park, 720 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park Road, Española. This free event is open to everyone and is organized by Tewa Women United’s Gender Justice Program and A’Gin Healthy Sexuality & Body Sovereignty Project. https://tewawomenunited.org/events/halloween-skate-jam
- Monday, October 30th at 8 am MT, 10 am ET – 15th Official Cold War Patriots National Day of Remembrance, a 15-minute virtual ceremony that recognizes those who worked in the nuclear weapons and uranium industries and honors those who are no longer with us. Register at https://app.livestorm.co/cold-war-patriots/2023cwpndr?utm_source=cwp%20website&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ndr%202023&utm_term=ndra
- Wednesday, November 8th virtual conference on Nuclear Weapons and International Law – The Renewed Imperative in Light of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine from 9 am to 6 pm ET. Sponsored by the New York Bar Association, International Section. https://nysba.org/events/nuclear-weapons-and-international-law-the-renewed-imperative-in-light-of-the-ukraine-war/
- Thursday, November 9th by 5 pm MT – Comments due on the draft Community Relations Plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). https://wipp.energy.gov/community-outreach.asp
- Thursday, November 16th from 5:30 – 8 pm – virtual and in-person public meeting about the Kirtland AFB Bulk Fuels Facility Project at New Mexico Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Blvd. SE.
Community members may review Air Force Environmental Restoration Program documents by visiting the Kirtland AFB website at https://www.kirtland.af.mil/Home/Environment/ or the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center Administrative Record website AF Administrative Record. If you would like additional information, please contact 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs at (505) 846-5991 or by email, 377ABW.PA@us.af.mil
- Friday, November 17th – Saturday, November 18th – New Mexico Acequia Association 24th Annual Congreso de las Acequias at the Sagebrush Inn, Taos. https://lasacequias.org/congreso/
- Monday, November 27th to Friday, December 1st – Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2MSP) at UN Headquarters in New York City. https://www.icanw.org/tpnw_second_meeting_of_states_parties and https://meetings.unoda.org/tpnw/tpnw-msp-2023
- Friday, December 15th – Holloman 5 Anti-Drone Trial begins in Otero County, NM. https://www.veteransforpeace.org/our-work/working-groups/drones-robots-and-future-weapons-working-group http://www.shutdowndronewarfare.org/ https://www.codepink.org/shutdowndrone
Tags: burrowing animals, deep roots, ET cover, evapotranspiration cover, excavation, institutional controls, LANL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Material Disposal Area, MDA, MDA B, MDA C, MDA P, New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act, NMED, regional drinking water aquifer, Statement of Basis, VOCs, volatile organic compounds