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Comments sought on draft assessment plan

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Resources > LANL Trustee Council releases study

By The Staff

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council recently announced the release of the Draft LANL Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan, the beginning of a 30-day public comment period, and the date and location of a public meeting regarding the LANL Natural Resource Damage Assessment.

The LANL Trustee Council is composed of representatives of the State of New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Pueblo of Jemez, the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, Santa Clara Pueblo, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

A Natural Resource Damage Assessment evaluates the impacts of releases of hazardous substances on natural resources and the services provided by those resources.

Unlike the ongoing environmental remediation process, which focuses on removal of contaminants that pose a threat to human health and the environment, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process focuses on the restoration of resources and their services to the condition they would have been in absent the release of the contaminants.

A major goal of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment is to compensate the public “for injury to, or loss of, natural resources” and the services provided by those resources.

The Draft Damage Assessment Plan describes how the LANL Trustee Council plans to conduct the Natural Resource Damage Assessment. The Draft Damage Assessment Plan is available for download at lanlnrda.org.

The LANL Trustee Council is seeking public comment on the Draft LANL Damage Assessment Plan. The comment period starts Nov. 14 and lasts until Dec. 14.

Comments on the Draft Damage Assessment Plan must be submitted in writing by either via e-mail to lanlnrda@gmail.com or via mail to: New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee, 4910-A Alameda Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87113.

In addition, the LANL Trustee Council is hosting a public meeting from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 21 at Cities of Gold Casino Hotel in Pojoaque.

This meeting will provide the public an opportunity to offer written comments on the Draft Damage Assessment Plan, ask questions of LANL Trustee Council representatives, and to learn more about the LANL Trustee Council and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

Hard copies of the plan may also be found in the following libraries:
• NNSA Albuquerque Complex Reading Room, Zimmerman Library, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131
• LANL Public Reading Room, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, N.M., 87506
• Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Street, Santa Fe, N.M. 87501
• Los Alamos County Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, N.M.
87544
• New Mexico State Library, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey. Santa Fe, N.M. 87507
• Northern New Mexico College Library, 921 N. Paseo de Oñate, Española, N.M. 87532

The complete plan can be found at lanlnrda.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Public-Review-Draft-LANL-Damage-Assessment-Plan.pdf.