NMED leverages resources on community outreach

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Environment department makes the decision to disband the CRMG

By John Severance

ESPAÑOLA — The decision to disband the Community Radiation Monitoring Group (CRMG) did not sit well with those who have been there from the start.
The announcement came was delivered via an email that was received five days prior to what would be the final CRMG meeting on Wednesday in Española.
“Your decision to make this dramatic change causes us great pain and it causes me great pain,” said Joni Arends, the executive director of the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. “It makes me want to cry. I understand your logic but trust has been built with the CRMG and I strongly disagree with how all of this came about.”
“I am appalled that you make a decision all by yourself,” said Sheri Kotowski of the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group. “It is very deceitful. And it is reflective of the (Gov. Susanna) Martinez administration.”
The object of Arends’ and Kotowski’s ire was Tom Skibitski of the New Mexico Environmental Department’s DOE Oversight Bureau.
Skibitski made the decision to end the CRMG and make a transition to expand its community outreach with the help of the New Mexico Community Foundation.
At the beginning of his remarks, Skibitski said, “I hope this is a meeting and not a beating.”

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