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Lab disputes runoff water standard

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By Roger Snodgrass

A disagreement has arisen between Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of its water regulators.

The New Mexico Environment Department said this week they would ask the state Water Quality Control Commission to dismiss a petition from the Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security LLC that appeals the department’s water quality standard for storm water runoff.

“First and foremost, we’re committed to making sure that our runoff is in compliance with the regulations,” laboratory spokesperson Kevin Roark said Friday. “Most importantly, we want to adhere to an accurate and fair method for determining the hardness or toxicity in water.”

The issue, as described in a press announcement by NMED, has to do with a discrepancy between standards set by the department for the laboratory’s water discharge permit and standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Administration, having to do with how “hard” the water flowing out of the laboratory is allowed to be.


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