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Head wants federal agency removed

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Environmental secretary says the NNSA has had a “troubled history”

By Sue M. Holmes

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s environmental secretary wants the National Nuclear Security Administration removed from environmental cleanup and surveillance programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, saying the agency has had a “troubled history” in implementing a 2005 consent decree over cleanup.

NNSA’s involvement “has compromised the pace and direction” of work that is crucial to protecting New Mexico’s water resources and its residents’ health, Ron Curry wrote Energy Secretary Steven Chu earlier this month.

Curry, who also is the state’s natural resources trustee, said in an interview he wants cleanup issues left to the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, both for the consent decree with the state and a natural resources damage assessment sought this month by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Resource Trustee Council.

“It’s a waste of time to go back and forth with a two-headed monster,” Curry said in an

interview Thursday.

The NNSA, an arm of the DOE that oversees the nuclear labs, is “an ineffective middleman,” he said.

A statement released by NNSA headquarters reported the agency signed the consent order and is committed to meeting its deadlines.


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