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State questions plans for waste dump

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By Roger Snodgrass

The New Mexico Environment Department is disappointed with its permittees at Los Alamos National Laboratory over a regulatory issue.

Nov. 20, James Bearzi, chief of the Hazardous Waste Bureau sent a “notice of disapproval” covering several aspects of a key report in the massive, ongoing cleanup project at the laboratory.

The letter was obtained by the Monitor Monday.

The notice of deficiency stops short of a notice of violation, which would entail penalties such as fines. DOE and LANL have until the end of the year to respond to a number of concerns expressed by Bearzi about “the absence of vital information (e.g. groundwater data)” and other matters the department finds lacking in the report.

“We have a fairly aggressive plan that has been approved by the state to supplement the data they have,” said David Gregory, the DOE project director. “We recognize there are deficiencies. We’re well on the way to installing additional wells.”

The letter is addressed in tandem to the Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Laboratory, who are jointly responsible for fulfilling the requirements of the Consent Order that has governed cleanup activities at Los Alamos for the last three years.


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