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Triay given key to county

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U.S. assistant secretary for environmental management praises Los Alamos

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos County Council Chair Mike Wismer presented the key to the county to Dr. Inés Triay this morning in Council Chambers.

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The key was presented to Triay in appreciation for her assistance to Los Alamos.

“Dr. Triay is a friend to the county and to the State of New Mexico and she ensures that protection of human health and the environment are first and foremost in every decision,” Wismer said in presenting her the key.

Triay is the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for environmental management. She lived in Los Alamos with her husband and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for many years, focusing on environmental clean-up issues.

During this morning’s ceremony, Triay described Los Alamos as being a very important place both currently and in the past, especially in relation to its monumental role in ending WWII. “I am so grateful to have been a small part of the history of Los Alamos … I know that Los Alamos is in good hands with you (county councilors) and that gives me comfort,” Triay said in accepting the key. “Taking the road from Santa Fe to here is like coming home … Los Alamos is the longest I’ve lived anywhere.”

As the chief operating officer of DOE’s environmental management office, Triay worked with the county to prioritize cleanup issues and ensure that both high-risk sites and land transfer sites were addressed for remediation action.

As DOE assistant secretary for environmental management, she has overseen the

implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding and annual funding of legacy waste projects such as the cleanup of Material Disposal Area B (MDA-B) and Technical Area-21 (TA-21) on DP Road.

Under ARRA, the assistant secretary provided funds in 2009 to commence the decommissioning and demolition of Cold War-era buildings at TA-21, which once housed plutonium and historic non-weapons research.

Because of $212 million in ARRA funding, cleanup began recently at TA-21’s MDA-B, which is an inactive subsurface disposal site that stored processed radioactive laboratory wastes and debris and some liquid chemical waste from operations within the site.

Her program also manages the activities associated with the disposal of transuranic waste at LANL that is transported to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) disposal facility near Carlsbad.

Triay is credited with being responsible for the first shipment ever made to WIPP from Los Alamos in 1999.

During this morning’s event, Triay expressed her appreciation, saying she felt honored to be recognized on behalf of DOE’s environmental management program “for the great work being done here.”

Following the ceremony, Triay toured the cleanup activities on DP Road.