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LANL, community groups reach water settlement

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By The Staff

Los Alamos National Laboratory announced it has reached a settlement with nine community groups and individuals that will result in the dismissal of a 2008 environmental lawsuit on Thursday.

The suit, filed by the Western Environmental Law Center in Taos, alleged that LANL violated its EPA Clean Water Act permit, and allowed stormwater bearing contaminants from more than 100 legacy (Cold War era) environmental sites to run off at levels above standards —charges LANL denies.

Under the terms of the settlement, WELC agreed to drop the lawsuit in exchange for access to inspect certain sites, funding for technical consulting and a portion of legal fees.

Many of the issues in the suit were resolved through a new permit issued by the EPA under the Clean Water Act.

Under this permit, LANL agreed to manage its stormwater sites to meet requirements governing stormwater run-on and run-off at about 400 legacy sites. The permit contains requirements for stabilizing and monitoring the sites.  Field improvements will help prevent contamination from running off during large storms.


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