New Mexico Environment Department officials from the department’s Hazardous Waste Bureau met with the public Thursday about waste cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The 2005 Compliance Order of Consent defines how hazardous waste areas at LANL are conducted. It was agreed to by the New Mexico Environment Department, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Regents of the University of California and LANL and is now under review.
NMED and other partners agree that through data gathered during the initial stages of the cleanup, changes could be made to make hazardous waste cleanup safer and more efficient.
NMED is in the process of gathering public comments about those changes, according to NMED Secretary Ryan Flynn.
“What we’re trying to do here is to take the consent order, which has been effective in certain areas, and try to make it more effective, building upon a decade of experience that we now have,” Flynn said. “Time changes, technology evolves, and you learn more as a regulator how to more effectively control pollution at a facility.”
The original 2005 order predicted that the entire cleanup would be completed by 2005, but that was before the underground chromium plume was detected on LANL property and other complications developed.