The comment period for the Chromium Environmental Assessment has been extended to March 13!
The Department of Energy (DOE) releases Draft Chromium Interim Measure and Final Remedy Environmental Assessment to address a chromium plume under Los Alamos National Laboratory. But there is no ‘final remedy.’ The proposed action is to keep trying “what can be done now with the information that is known,” while drilling more wells.
DOE is accepting public comments on the draft EA through Feb. 12 March 13, 2024.DOE Environmental Management recognizes “that it is difficult to generate advanced knowledge sufficient to provide a technically defensible basis for the final remediation decision.” So, after nearly 20 years of DOE working on the plume, the public is asked to comment on plans that are not yet finalized. This shows that the plume is a big problem that is not well-funded.
2.3 PROPOSED ACTION
In 2022, the Network of National Laboratories for Environmental Management and Stewardship (NNLEMS) completed the Independent Review of Groundwater Remediation Strategy for Hexavalent Chromium and RDX Groundwater Plumes at Los Alamos National Laboratory (NNLEMS, 2022). The report documents an independent technical review by scientists from the DOE NNLEMS to provide recommendations for potential near-term actions to address and optimize remediation for the Cr(VI) plume. The overarching recommendation of the NNLEMS review team is that the Cr(VI) plume should be addressed in context of the emerging “management of complex sites” paradigm. A primary goal of the complex site paradigm is to recognize that it is difficult to generate advanced knowledge sufficient to provide a technically defensible basis for the final remediation decision, design, and implementation. Instead, an adaptive management strategy encourages a focus on what can be done now with the information that is known, what can be done to stabilize the plume and mitigate risk, and what achievable interim objectives can be added as part of the adaptive management process that will allow success.
The Proposed Action would include installation of the following new infrastructure:
• Up to 15 injection wells in the regional aquifer: 70 gpm (1,000 gpm max total capacity).
• Up to 15 extraction wells in the regional aquifer: 70 gpm (1,000 gpm max total capacity).
• Up to 15 new monitoring wells in the regional aquifer. One existing well would be converted into a monitoring well in the regional aquifer, for a total of 16 monitoring wells.
You can submit public comments using one of the following methods:
[email protected]. Please use the subject line: Chromium Draft EA Comment
- EM-LA NEPA Document Manager, U.S. DOE Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office, 1200 Trinity Drive, Suite 400, Los Alamos, NM 87544
DOE is hosting a public meeting as detailed below:
- Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 — Virtual meeting 1-3 p.m. MDT — To join via video through your computer or smart device, go to https://zoom.us/join and enter Meeting ID: 849 7723 8202. You will be prompted to enter a Passcode: 062428 and your name.
- To join via audio (participants will hear the presentation but not see it), call +1 669-444-9171 and enter the above Meeting ID and passcode.
- DOE has prepared a draft EA (DOE/EA-2216) to evaluate alternatives for remedial action as part of the Chromium Interim Measures and Characterization Campaign identified in Appendix A of 2016 Compliance Order on Consent between DOE and the New Mexico Environmental Department.
For further information: