Advisory board ruffled by change

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By Roger Snodgrass

SANTA FE – The winds of change came down from Washington like an unexpected squall over the weekend.

The Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board held a special meeting of the executive committee Wednesday to discuss what seemed to be critical comments about who they were and how they were giving their environmental advice about Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The volunteers on the board wondered what was behind the changes requested by the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management.

How much of it was criticism of the work they had done?

The informal orders from headquarters came in the form of a conversation between the Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Jeff Casalina and his boss in Washington, D.C., the Designated Federal Officer Cate Brennan.

Casalina, who supervises the work of the board for DOE, boiled it down to five suggested changes:

• Increase diversity among board members to reflect the local populous;

• Diversify the topics CAB works, possibly to include more environmental justice issues;

• Reduce technical complexity with the topics;

• Have more evening meetings to allow working people to participate; and

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