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It is good to read in the Los Alamos Monitor (Nov. 22-23) that environmental remediation at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is starting to shift its emphasis.
A bias for action is starting to replace the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) need to study things to death.
In the first six years of the compliance order on consent, studies NMED required LANL to perform cost about $900 million and consumed more than 90 percent of the total budget for those years.
LANL already had 35 years of study and research before the order. NMED Secretary F. David Martin and the Martinez administration have a real challenge to reverse the NMED “bring me another rock” syndrome.
Another challenge is getting NMED to make decisions on a timely basis.
The Monitor correctly noted that LANL submitted a remedy evaluation for Material Disposal Area H in September 2011.
However, it fails to note that the first remedy evaluation was submitted in May 2003 and NMED has yet to make a decision.
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