LANL Holds Community Meeting On Hazardous Waste Facility Permit Renewal Application

IMG_6263.jpgLANL representatives answer questions for Joni Arends, executive director of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety during a Dec. 4 community meeting in Pojoaque. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


The Department of Energy (DOE), Triad National Security, LLC and Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, LLC (N3B) officials held a public information meeting in Pojoaque Wednesday, Dec. 4 on the Los Alamos National Laboratory Hazardous Waste Facility Permit renewal application.

Peter Hyde of LANL Communications said the goal of the meeting was to gather questions and comments to include in the permit renewal application. He said LANL wanted the application to be as full and as complete as possible and that Thursday’s meeting would not be the only opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comments.

“Our sole focus is to gather information on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit application and to answer your questions. We are not here to discuss the Laboratory’s mission,” he said.

Hyde noted that comment cards were available and asked that people use them to provide formal comments and questions. Presentation displays were placed around the meeting room and Hyde indicated that there was a group of experts in their respective fields on hand to answer questions.

Members of the public, including representatives of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety CCNS), Tewa Women United and Nuclear Watch New Mexico chatted individually with the Lab representatives, however there was no question and answer time for all to hear all the comments or concerns raised.

Joni Arends, executive director for CCNS asked about was the anticipated date for filling the application. She said the CCNS concern is that in 1999 the permit was administratively continued for 10 years before the public comment took place. So it was really a 20-year permit and we want to make sure that we’re not going into another 20 year permit based on the permit in 2010.

“I also want to put on the record that the WIPP permit is also due July 1, 2020 and so we understood that LANL was going to submit an application in March or April to give a little bit of additional time,” she said.

Arends said CCNS wants the Lab to file a permit application for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility. She and others testified at a recent New Mexico Environment Department public hearing in Los Alamos in opposition to issuance of a Groundwater Discharge Permit DP 1132 for the facility on the basis that RCRA is the appropriate regulatory vehicle for NMED to use because the RLWTF “manages, treats, handles and stores hazardous waste”.