.News Update 02/15/08

Santa Fe Passes Resolution Opposing Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production at LANL

February 15, 2008

The City of Santa Fe passed a resolution opposing expanded nuclear weapons production at LANL under the proposal of the Department of Energy called "Complex Transformation." City Councilor Matt Ortiz sponsored the resolution. It cites concerns about further health and environmental hazards related to nuclear weapons production and requires the City Clerk to send the resolution to state and federal officials.

DOE has scheduled public hearings about the draft Complex Transformation environmental impact statement at four locations in New Mexico. The first hearing will be held on Monday, March 10 in Socorro at the Macey Center, at New Mexico Tech, from 6 to 10 pm. The second hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 11 in Albuquerque at the Albuquerque Convention Center from 11 to 3 and 6 to 10 pm. Two hearings are scheduled for Los Alamos, both at the Hilltop House. The first will be on Wednesday, March 12 from 6 to 10 pm, and the other on Thursday, March 13 from 11 am to 3 pm. The final New Mexico hearing is scheduled for Santa Fe on Thursday, March 13 from 6 to 10 pm at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.

In preparation for the hearings, a diverse group of non-governmental organizations and individuals are organizing a community education event for Saturday March 1, 2008 in Santa Fe. It will take place at the Genevova Chavez Community Center on Rodeo Road. The event will begin with a press conference with Mayor David Coss, who is a Mayor for Peace, and other elected officials. Afterwards, presentations will be made about the public health and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons activities at both LANL and Sandia National Laboratory.

Local experts, including Robert H. Gilkeson, will make presentations. Gilkeson is a registered geologist, former lead consultant to LANL's groundwater protection program and now a whistleblower. He will speak about the many problems with the groundwater wells at LANL and Sandia. Other speakers include Sheri Kotowski, of the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group, a community group monitoring air emissions from LANL. She will speak about the impacts of airborne contamination in our downwind watersheds. Jay Coghlan, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, will talk about DOE's plans to expand nuclear weapons manufacturing at LANL.

A number of organizations will be present to answer questions and provide materials to take home. One of the goals of the community event is to provide a place where people may learn about the issues, ask questions and prepare their comments for the DOE public hearing in New Mexico.

For more information or to volunteer for the March 1 community event, please contact CCNS at 986-1973.

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