Triassic Park Administrative Record in Disarray; Presents Challenges to Public to Provide Informed Comments about Hazardous Waste Permit
Providing informed public comments about a proposed hazardous waste disposal site is a daunting task, especially if the supporting paper and electronic documents are in disarray. This is the case for the draft permit for Triassic Park, a proposed landfill for hazardous waste located east of Roswell, New Mexico. Supporting documents in the administrative record were unstapled to be scanned for internet posting, but were not re-stapled together and are sitting loose in boxes. The on-line record has almost 200 out-of-order items, missing documents, and nothing has been updated in months.
Triassic Park is located in rural, southeastern New Mexico, near the small communities of Dexter, Lake Arthur and Hagerman, where there are high levels of poverty and a large number of Spanish-speaking residents. To learn more about Triassic Park and the history of discrimination by the New Mexico Environment Department, please go to http://sacredtrustnm.org/nmed-the-triassic-park-permit-just-as-bad-as-the-first-time/
Gandy Marley, Inc., the owners of Triassic Park, applied for a hazardous waste disposal permit, and following a public hearing in 2002, the New Mexico Environment Department issued the permit. Now Gandy Marley is asking the Department to renew the 10-year permit. https://www.env.nm.gov/HWB/tpperm.html
During the first public hearing, issues of discrimination were raised because basic information about the site was not made available in Spanish for the communities surrounding Triassic Park and Spanish-speakers who tried to participate were sometimes insulted.
Those concerns remain as today’s permitting process is repeating some of the discriminatory practices that were complained about 15 years ago. http://nuclearactive.org/card-civil-rights-complaint-to-epa-about-triassic-park-thirteen-years-and-no-resolution/ The Department had to be prodded into providing a fact sheet in Spanish and did not provide printed information near the site until the comment period was almost over. Even now those documents are in their Roswell office, which is only open during working hours. Further, the Department insists that everyone can easily use the on-line record even when the communities are rural, poor and have large numbers of Spanish speakers. Recent research about internet use reveals that these communities are more likely to have lower on-line access and fewer on-line research skills, thus increasing participation challenges. For these reasons, the Department must provide a paper copy near the dump in a place with longer hours.
Communities for Environmental Justice and Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping are committed to raising these issues. The groups request that you to sign their Change.org petition asking the Department to extend the public comment period for 60 days after the administrative record is put back in order and a paper copy is accessible in a public building with evening and weekend hours near the dump. Please sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/nmed-provide-printed-information-for-those-affected-by-triassic-park-hazardous-waste-dump?recruiter=613284821&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive
Public comments are currently due to the Environment Department on Friday, November 18th. All comments should be directed by mail or email to:
Dave Cobrain, Program Manager
Hazardous Waste Bureau – New Mexico Environment Department
2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Building 1
Santa Fe NM 87505-6303
In your comment you must state that they are:
Triassic Park Draft Permit Public Comments
Sample public comments that you can use are available at http://sacredtrustnm.org/nmed-the-triassic-park-permit-just-as-bad-as-the-first-time/
Or use these talking points/requests to create your own:
- A paper copy of the entire Administrative Record, including the draft permit, English and Spanish Fact Sheets, the 2002 hearing record and the hearing transcript, and associated documents must be placed in a library near the site that is open evenings and weekends
- The online Administrative Record must be corrected, be made complete, be updated in a timely manner, and be made more user-friendly
- The comment period must be extended for an additional 60 days, beginning after these requests have been fulfilled