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LANL makes strides in cleaning runoff

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Water > Engineer urges long-term budget commitment

By Arin McKenna

Engineer Erin English, with Biohabitats, Inc., a firm representing the Communities for Clean Water (CCW), gave the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities a progress report on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s efforts at storm water management.

English spoke highly of the LANL stormwater team.

“We’ve actually ended up in quite a collaborative process and have found that the LANL folks have gone far above what they had committed to doing as a result of that lawsuit, and have really looked to us for some assistance in how to manage that storm water, not only in conventional ways but perhaps in ways that give them a little more flexibility that are rooting in green infrastructure grounds,” English said.

English believes LANL’s budget for compliance with the stormwater mitigation is approximately $10 million.

The core members of CCW are Amigos Bravos, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Honor our Pueblo Existence and the New Mexico Acequia Association, with several other groups also participating.

CCW sued LANL over their stormwater discharge permit in 2010 because of the high levels of pollutants running into the Rio Grande. CCW won that settlement, and was granted collaboration time with LANL’s stormwater team and given funding to hire technical experts. Biohabitats was hired to represent CCW.


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