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LANL withdraws objection to Rio Grande monitoring criteria

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By The Staff

The state environment department announced Wednesday that Los Alamos National Laboratory had withdrawn its opposition to a proposal for a numeric water quality standards for monitoring and reporting radiological contaminants in the Rio Grande down stream from the laboratory.

The proposal grew out of what the New Mexico Environment Department called “concerns from the public about the health risks of radiological contaminants such as plutonium in water from the Rio Grande being diverted by the Buckman Diversion Project.”

These contaminants are known collectively as radionuclides and include isotopes of plutonium, uranium, strontium, americium and cesium.

NMED proposed the standards “to generate credible scientific data and to help the public understand the risks posed by those contaminants,” said New Mexico Environment Secretary Ron Curry in an announcement

A LANL spokesperson confirmed that the objection was withdrawn Wednesday during a public review of the state Water Quality Control Commission that met this week. The proposal was introduced earlier in the week.


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