CCNS Urges Santa Fe City Council to Use Its Emergency Powers to Install Tent over Eberline Facility on Airport Road
On Wednesday night, the Santa Fe City Council heard from dozens of people, both in person and virtually, about the proposed rezoning of 22 acres of open space on South Meadows to housing. Dave Englert, a retired New Mexico Environment Department geologist, and Joni Arends, CCNS Executive Director, urged the City Council to prioritize cleanup of the Eberline site that borders the 22 acres to the south. Arends asked the Council to use its emergency powers to install a tent with HEPA filtration over the building now.
Arends provided comments about a January 27th call with Environment Department officials and community members. We learned that it may be at least two years before decommissioning and demolition of the building may take place. This information is concerning because we also learned that the red brick building on Airport Road where radiation detection equipment was manufactured is unstable.
When asked about the ventilation system that was recently removed from the roof because the instability of the building, Environment Department officials said the roof might be leaking. It is critical for there to be negative pressure in locations where radioactive materials are handled, processed and stored because if there is a release of radioactive materials, the negative pressure is supposed to keep the radiation inside. This might not be the case at the Eberline facility.
We do not know how much radiological equipment and inventory is currently stored in the building. Since 2007, Eberline has submitted several notices to decommission the site to the Environment Department, but no plans have been approved. Brief History of Eberline ThermoFisher 20230129
Eberline began manufacturing radiation detection equipment on Airport Road in 1953. In 1979, the Thermo Electron Corporation, now named ThermoFisher, purchased Eberline. ThermoFisher is a Fortune 500 corporation that posted revenues of over $11 billion for the last quarter of 2022. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/thermo-fisher-scientific-tmo-surpasses-121512536.html
The public comment portion of the meeting ended before 10 pm. Councilor Michael Garcia asked the Council to vote to postpone the question period until the next meeting on Wednesday, February 8th. At that meeting, the councilors will have the opportunity to ask questions not only of Homewise, the applicant, https://lospradosnm.com/, but also members of the public who made comments. The public comment period, however, is closed.
In the meantime, please contact your city councilors and ask them to use their emergency powers to protect public health and ensure that a tent with HEPA filtration is installed over the Eberline facility as soon as possible. https://santafenm.gov/elected-officials
The February 1, 2023 Special Governing Body meeting may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cyGK1bQg4Y
- Friday, February 3rd from noon to 1 pm – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi and others.
- Fridays – February 3, 10, 17 and 24 at noon MT – Four-week online World BEYOND War book club with Vincent Intondi about his book, African Americans Against the Bomb. Limited to 18 participants. For more information and to register: https://worldbeyondwar.org/events/
- Monday, February 6th at noon at 120 S. Federal Plaza, Santa Fe – Rally for Clemency for Leonard Peltier! International Day of Solidarity – Rise up together to demand justice for Indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier! The government recently admitted that they don’t know who shot the two FBI agents in June 1975 at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In response, Peltier said, “Truth has prevailed but justice has not!” The message to President Biden is: “We ask you, President Biden, for grace, for simple mercy, due to Peltier’s advanced age and deteriorating health, please grant him FREEDOM NOW!”
- Thursday, February 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm – in person and virtual LANL Environmental Management Cleanup Forum at Cottonwood on the Greens (Los Alamos Golf Course), 4244 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos. Presentations include N3B (cleanup contractor) fiscal year 2023 priorities and the hexavalent chromium treatment systems, which will be followed by a question and answer period about cleanup priorities. Agenda and connection information: https://n3b-la.com/emcf_feb_9_2023/
- March 9 and 10, 2023 – ICAN and ICAN Norway are hosting the ICAN Act on It Forum in Oslo, Norway. You are invited to join campaigners, youth, politicians, academics and others interested in nuclear disarmament to amplify voices demanding the end of unlawful and inhumane nuclear weapons. March 2023 is the 10th anniversary of the first conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, hosted by Norway. https://www.icannorway.no/
Tags: 22 acres, Airport Road, Councilor Michael Garcia, Dave Englert, decommissioning plans, Eberline, emergency powers, Fortune 500 corporation, HEPA filtration, Homewise, negative pressure, New Mexico Environment Department, possible contamination, posted revenues of over $11 billion for last quarter of 2022, radiation detection equipment, Santa Fe City Council, South Meadows Open Space, tent, ThermoFisher, unstable building