BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council Chair Sara Scott has written to the New Mexico Congressional Delegation requesting assistance regarding the Department of Energy National Security Administration remediation of the Middle DP Road site where radiological contamination was discovered beginning in February.
Scott mentioned the letter during the council chair report on the agenda for the Nov. 10 regular County Council meeting, however there was no discussion with Council at that time. The letter expresses the hope that the County and the delegation will continue working together “to ensure transferred lands are sufficiently cleaned up by DOE/NNSA for the community”.
Scott said in the letter that the County and the developer undertook housing projects on DP Road based on “past representations that the sites were clean to residential levels” when NNSA transferred the land to the County.
“Your assistance since the discovery of the hazardous materials has allowed the County to make some progress regarding the installation of a new sewer line and pump station,” she tells the delegation. “There are still critical needs at this DP Road site, such as characterization of the site for any hazardous materials and subsequent remediation. During meetings between County staff and local NNSA/EM staff the County has been told that neither agency has enough funding for this remaining work.”
Scott goes on to request funding for DOE to undertake the remediation of the DP Road site in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 appropriations bills. She says DOE has identified that the work will require $10 million.
“Our goal is to have this cleanup complete before residents begin moving into the adjacent senior/affordable apartment complex as planned in 2021,” Scott said.
A DOE spokesman told the Los Alamos Reporter Tuesday that DOE has allocated funding for the execution of a Preliminary Screening Plan on the Middle DP Road Site in FY 2021.
“The results of that field work will determine what additional activities may be required and what the costs associated with those activities would be,” the spokesman said.
Ironically, officials from DOE NNSA and Environmental Management are slated to address Council on DP Road and other issues Tuesday evening during a virtual workshop session beginning at 6 p.m. This will be the first time NNSA or EM officials have been invited to appear before Council since Oct. 18, 2019.