Comments to the Northern NM Citizens’ Advisory Board
By Scott Kovac, Nuclear Watch NM, July 24, 2019
Tremendous progress requires overall improvement, not just at one spot. A recent Environmental Management Los Alamos (EMLA) press release claimed “tremendous progress” with regards to the chromium (Cr) plume. Media stories then did their job and generalized that everything about the plume was getting better. This is the kind of public relations’ language that does not help to further the discussion on these complex issues.
Public Meeting to Discuss Chromium From Los Alamos That Has Reached Our Aquifer
DOE/LANL sponsored Public open house and poster session
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Cities of Gold Conference Center
10-A Cities of Gold Rd. Pojoaque, NM 87506
Sampling from monitoring wells at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) indicate the presence of chromium contamination in our regional aquifer resulting from historical use of a corrosion inhibitor that was discharged to an outfall as part of operational activities. Concentrations of chromium within the groundwater plume beneath Mortandad Canyon exceed the New Mexico groundwater standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) near the property boundary between LANL and the Pueblo de San Ildefonso and are as high as 1,000 ppb in the plume center. Recent groundwater monitoring well sampling data show increasing chromium concentrations on the plume edges, which is indicative of plume migration. The LANL management and operating contractor is required to assess, identify, clean up, and otherwise address contamination at LANL.
DOE’s proposed action is to control plume migration and maintain the 50 ppb and greater chromium contamination level within the LANL boundary while long-term corrective action remedies are evaluated and implemented. In other words, LANL will first focus on trying to keep the chromium from reaching our aquifer under San Ildefonso Pueblo.
Groundwater extraction would occur at up to three extraction wells, in addition to small volumes periodically extracted at monitoring wells. The total groundwater extraction volume would be up to 230 million gallons (707 acre-feet) annually over the approximately 8-year duration of the project. That’s a proposed total of 1.8 billion gallons.
DOE also proposes to conduct field-scale studies to further characterize the plume center to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of implementing a final remedy for the chromium plume.
Public Comment Opportunities
The 30-day public comment period for the Draft EA begins September 23, 2015, and ends on October 23, 2015. Comments on the Draft EA can be submitted via the following methods:
By mail: Department of Energy, Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office, 3747 West Jemez Road MS-A316, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544
By fax: (505) 606-2132
By phone: (800) 342-5363
The DOE Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office, in conjunction with the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board, is hosting a public meeting for comment on the Chromium Project. Join us to learn more about the Chromium Project and to comment on the Laboratory’s proposed actions.