LANL Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for a Third Electrical Line to Cross the Caja del Rio and the Rio Grande
Since at least 1999 Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has proposed running an additional 12-mile, 115 kilovolt electric line to the two that already cross the Caja del Rio and the Rio Grande to the Pajarito Plateau, claiming it needs the additional power line to run its supercomputers.
But this is the first time the proposal has come with a draft environmental assessment, or EA, which is over 200-pages long. https://energy.gov/nepa/doeea-2199-los-alamos-national-laboratory-electrical-power-capacity-upgrade-project For that reason, this Update is limited to informing you simply that the draft EA is out and that the public process remains flawed, an observation the Update will develop next week. CCNS is working on draft sample public comments that you can use.
Public comments about the proposed scope of the draft EA were due on May 21, 2021. Now, 2 ½ years later, the draft EA has been released. In those 2 ½ years, the public concerns about the care and preservation of the 106,000-acre Caja del Rio have grown.
The Caja del Rio is located between the Rio Grande and the Santa Fe rivers to the south and beyond Diablo Canyon to the north. Currently there are efforts to create a national monument to preserve it. To learn more, go to the beautiful website of the Caja del Rio Coalition at https://cajadelrio.org/
The draft EA is a joint effort by DOE and NNSA, the cooperating Santa Fe National Forest, and the participating Bureau of Land Management. Together they are proposing the power transmission line to carry power from the Public Service Company of New Mexico, or PNM, bulk electric system. The proposal is for a 12.5 mile long, three phase, 115 kilovolt overhead power transmission line on large pole structures — 9.6 miles would span the Caja del Rio section of the Santa Fe National Forest and 2.7 miles would cross the Rio Grande in White Rock Canyon and terminate at a LANL substation on land managed by DOE and NNSA. Access roads and lay down areas would be required.
Importantly, the EA recommends an amendment to the Santa Fe National Forest Plan to allow issuance of a special use permit to construct and operate the power line infrastructure outside some areas of the designated or existing utility corridor.
Now that you know, let’s form a working group to bring together concerns and expertise to address LANL’s proposal. If you are interested, please email email@example.com.
The Draft EA is available in the NNSA NEPA Reading Room at: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room or directly at https://energy.gov/nepa/doeea-2199-los-alamos-national-laboratory-electrical-power-capacity-upgrade-project
- 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 http://nuclearactive.org/ Your contribution keeps you informed through our weekly Update broadcast and social media postings. Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network! Many thanks!
- Friday, December 1st 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.
- Monday, November 27th to Friday, December 1st – Second Meeting of States Parties (MSP) 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 See the Nov. 9th Update for more details. http://nuclearactive.org/states-parties-to-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-will-meet-at-the-united-nations-to-strengthen-the-ban/ Check out the MSP-TV to catch up on the twice daily updates about what is happening at the United Nations. https://www.icanw.org/msp_tv
- Wednesday, December 13th at 6 pm MST – “Power to the People: How Grassroots Power Overcomes Big Nuclear” Webinar, presented by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. https://www.nirs.org/ Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8FjN4qowRQCT8UWL1KR0Mg?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=d9ffec16-5667-42ab-96c3-af726cdc0836#/registration
- 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
- Monday, January 8th – NM Public Regulation Commission hearing about the proposed New Mexico Gas Company LNG plant in Bernalillo County – public comments needed. For more info: https://www.newenergyeconomy.org/lng , https://calendar.google.com/calendar/event?eid=MHU2N3B1ZTY3NXJ1dmU3bmw3M3BqN3ZyM2ggbm1wcmMxQG0&ctz=America/Denver
- 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. CCNS is working on sample public comments for you to use. The Draft EA is available in the NNSA NEPA Reading Room at: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room or directly at https://energy.gov/nepa/doeea-2199-los-alamos-national-laboratory-electrical-power-capacity-upgrade-project
EVENT FOLLOW UP
About 60 people attended the Day of Action Against Nuclear Weapons on the Santa Fe Plaza on Sunday, November 26, 2023 to sing with the Raging Grannies and to hear from speakers on many related nuclear issues, including uranium mining, nuclear colonization, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, expanding plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Laboratory and waste disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, both sites in New Mexico. The event was organized by the New Mexico Peace Festivals. https://abqpeacefest.org/
Tags: 12.5-mile 115 kV electric line, Bureau of Land Management, Caja del Rio, Department of Energy, Diablo Canyon, DOE, EA, environmental assessment, LANL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Environmental Policy Act, National Nuclear Security Administration, NEPA, NNSA, Pajarito Plateau, PNM, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Rio Grande, Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe National Forest Plan, scoping, supercomputers, White Rock Canyon