Buckman Board Meets Thursday, December 16 at Santa Fe Main Library at 4 pm

December 10, 2010

An overflow crowd attended the recent public meeting held by ChemRisk about its independent peer review report of contaminants from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that may impact the Buckman Direct Diversion Project. The meeting ran more than an hour past the scheduled time while participants expressed concerns about the report on Santa Fe's future water supply from the Rio Grande. Plans were already in the works to ignore those comments because the final report and associated public documents were posted on the Buckman webpage later that night. www.bddproject.org

For those who wish to express their concerns directly to the Board of the Buckman Direct Diversion Project, its monthly meeting will be held Thursday, December 16, 2010, upstairs at the Santa Fe Main Library at 4 pm. The agenda includes time for public comment.

Elected officials from both the City and County who attended the recent ChemRisk meeting heard people ask why the diversion site was located downstream from where historic LANL contaminants flow to the Rio Grande. One reason is that, under the Rio Grande Water Compact with Texas, the amount of water that New Mexico is required to deliver to the Elephant Butte Reservoir is measured at the Otowi Gage. The gage is located very near the Otowi Bridge on State Road 4 and a little upstream from where Los Alamos Canyon flows into the Rio Grande carrying LANL contaminants. The gage is so tightly controlled as to prohibit transfers of water across the gage.

Another question was why LANL had not cleaned up the 40 high priority dumps sites in Los Alamos Canyon before the Buckman Project goes on line next spring. There was no complete answer about why the nuclear facility with an annual budget of over $2 billion has not stopped the migration of contamination at the dumpsites.

Other unresolved issues raised were about why the report did not address the issues raised by the public over the last several years, including the synergy between chemicals and radionuclides; depleted uranium levels in the Rio Grande at regulatory standards; and research at LANL involving nanoparticles, which have no regulatory standards.

The Buckman Board released a statement following the meeting stating, "It is time to turn on the taps. Beginning early next year, treated and excellent quality Rio Grande water will gradually flow to our faucets. We are looking forward to drinking the first glass."

CCNS encourages people to attend the Buckman Board meeting on Thursday, December 16 at 4 pm at the Main Library, which is located in downtown Santa Fe.

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