BY MAIRE O’NEILL
UPDATE – The meeting has been canceled
The Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board combined committees meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the NNMCAB office at 94 Cities of Gold Road in Pojoaque.
The committees are expected to take action on a draft recommendation related to how the NNMCAB receives its work status updates from the Department of Energy Environmental Management at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Members will also hear from LANL legacy waste cleanup contractor N3B on staffing numbers and their revised organizational chart.
The draft recommendation prepared by Los Alamos board member Bob Hull states that the board’s principal means of obtaining information and understanding of issues is through formal briefings DOE/EM at monthly meetings.
“Typically, issue briefings take several months to prepare and are only addressed at intervals. Given the variety of issues and problems, there is a sense of lack of continuity and intermittent attention. Currently, the CAB has no mechanism to follow the range of issues on an ongoing basis; no means to continuously record status changes; and no record keeping mechanism to ensure updates and compliance,” the draft recommendation states.
The draft document if approved will recommend that DOE EM-LA provide written work status updates for all legacy waste contractor actions at LANL during the previous month and projected actions for the following month at least a week prior to the CAB’s monthly board meetings. The updates would status information for active campaigns, aggregate area investigations, groundwater well installation and operability, remedial actions/investigations, and other current activities of the legacy waste clean-up program.
The board is also considering asking DOE EM-LA for a written quarterly report on Consent Order actions that have been completed or are in progress, the status of individual permits, memoranda of understanding, risk assessments and National Environmental Policy Act analyses. These reports would address all actions taken during the previous quarter, projected actions for the following quarter and updates on any actions projected for the rest of the fiscal year.
The Board recommends that formats (e.g. topics, length, content) for such periodic reports would be developed and agreed. Reports would be archived in searchable form and made available to members on a routine basis. Reports would also be posted and made available to the public through the CAB website no more than two weeks following Board meetings. The CAB website would also be brought current by posting minutes, reports and briefings.
The NNMCAB was established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act as a Site-Specific Advisory Board to involve stakeholders more directly in DOE EM cleanup decisions.