WQCC Denies CCNS and HOPE Standing to Challenge DP-1132
The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission not only denied Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE) and CCNS standing to challenge the groundwater discharge permit DP-1132, but also denied the public any opportunity to provide comment during Tuesday’s hearing.
Two agenda items were about DP-1132. The first to determine whether CCNS and HOPE had standing to challenge the permit for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). If the Commission determined the NGOs had standing, then the second agenda item for a review of the permit would take place. 230509 WQCC-Meeting-Agenda_Final-Version
The standing discussion by Commission members and counsel was disorderly and was also muddled with a review of the DP-1132 permit.
It has required over a decade of effort to ensure the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act regulates the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility. The outcome of Tuesday’s Commission hearing was not the outcome the NGOs expected.
For the virtual public and those in attendance, the outcome was not what they had expected either. The public hearing notice stated there would be an opportunity to make comments during the hearing. English Public Notice for WQCC 22-21 (A) Spanish Public Notice for WQCC 22-21 (A)
When Janet Greenwald, of Citizens for Alternative to Radioactive Dumping (CARD), raised her hand to find out when public comments would be heard, confusion reigned. In the end, the answer was a resounding “no.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIEQtwaH4LQ , at 2:35.
The public hearing notice also provided links to the New Mexico Environment Department’s public comment portal. On Friday, May 5th, Joni Arends, of CCNS, checked the portal. The last comment was submitted on Friday at 9:50 am. When Arends checked the portal again on Sunday, May 7th around 2 pm, she found the portal was down. It was down for at least 20 hours.
Arends emailed a letter to the Commission’s counsel and to the Environment Department’s general counsel, citing the Water Quality Act that allows a party, such as CCNS, to make a showing that there was no reasonable opportunity to submit comments. As a remedy, the Commission could have ordered additional time for comments. The Commission did not provide a remedy to those who may have tried to submit comment during the at least 20 hours when the portal was down – just two days before the public hearing. Arends did not receive a response from the counsels. 230508 unsigned CCNS to WQCC & NMED Counsel WQCC 22-21 (A)
It seems, also, that comments submitted by the public before April 6th, 2023 are lodged in a file somewhere, inaccessible by the Commission until after it finishes work on the case – exactly after it could have been useful.
And the public comment portal, when it was working, stated that the comment period ended on July 30, 2023. The portal is now closed. https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=ZCP4E
While the NGOs are considering their options, please make a financial contribution to support our work. Many thanks!
- Friday, May 12th 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, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.
- Monday, May 15th – Los Alamos National Laboratory – Comments due to the NM Environment Department about the draft permit about a New Container Storage Area to TA-60. https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/lanl-permit/ , scroll down to Permit News – March 13, 2023 Or: https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D166014057
Mail your comments to:
NMED-Hazardous Waste Bureau
2905 Rodeo Park Drive East
Santa Fe, NM 87505-6313
Or email them to: email@example.com
- Tuesday, May 16th from 8 am to 9:30 am MT – Beyond Nuclear webinar: Tritium and the U.S. Nuclear Power Sector – Don’t dump it! is the first in a two-part webinar series on the threats to dump huge amounts of tritium (radioactive hydrogen) from the nuclear power and nuclear weapons sectors into the environment. To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ldsSiP8hRUm3vm_QYFr58g#/registration
- Tuesday, May 23rd – White Sands Missile Range – Comments due to the NM Environment Department about the draft Hazardous Waste Permit. https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wsmr/ , scroll down to Draft Permit and March 24, 2023 entry.
- June 5, 2023 – comments due on scope of a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for Sandia National Laboratories. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/04/21/2023-08459/national-nuclear-security-administration-notice-of-intent-to-prepare-a-site-wide-environmental and https://www.energy.gov/nepa/doeeis-0556-site-wide-environmental-impact-statement-continued-operation-sandia-national
Written comments on the scope of the SNL/NM SWEIS or requests for information related to the SNL/NM SWEIS may be sent via postal mail to:
SNL/NM SWEIS Comments
National Nuclear Security Administration, Sandia Field Office
PO Box 5400
Albuquerque, NM 87185
- June 6, 2023 – comments due on the scope of an Environmental Assessment for the Chromium Interim Measures and Final Remedy.
Submit your comments to: EMLA-NEPA@em.doe.gov (preferred)
Please use the subject line: Chromium EA Scoping Comment
NEPA Compliance Officer
U.S. DOE Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office
1200 Trinity Drive, Suite 400
Los Alamos, NM 87544
- To learn more about depleted uranium weapons, check out the zoom session with Damacio Lopez and the Veterans for Peace, Chapter 63, Donald and Sally Alice Thompson Chapter in Albuquerque. Damacio founded the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST). He and the Citizens’ Network Opposing the Use of DU Weapons in Ukraine are spreading the word that depleted uranium weapons have poisoned and will poison the soil for billions of years.
To view the presentation: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/wWIi21cDMN5jtluk3zyXdMowL7PM7zqRw11SQd1qkHCqViTGPoOhDcg1gjEaDHJ0.dmJDj1q41s92Le0O
Tags: CCNS, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Department of Energy, DOE, ground water discharge permit DP-1132, Hearing Officer, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, HOPE, LANL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Nuclear Security Administration, New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act, New Mexico Water Quality Act, New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission, NMED, NNSA, Petitioners’ Comments on Hearing Officer’s Report on Standing, public comment portal, Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, RLWTF, standing, WQA limitation § 74-6-12 NMSA 1978, WQCC, “no reasonable opportunity to submit comments, ” § 74-6-5.R NMSA 1978