BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council is expected to adopt its annual “Federal Agenda” Tuesday evening during its regular virtual session. The document, which will be used as a guide for the County’s FY2022 intergovernmental efforts at a federal level, is developed by a Council sub-quorum committee and then brought before the full Council for approval. It is designed to provide direction to County staff and lobbyists.
This year’s proposed Federal Agenda includes requests for support for COVID initiatives, funding and support for Los Alamos National Laboratory missions, funding for defense environmental cleanup, addressing LANL and community housing and economic development, removal of an EPA requirement for the County to obtain a stormwater permit and the addition of areas of Los Alamos Canyon to the Manhattan Project National Historic Park.
The County is seeking continued support and funding for mitigation of the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 as well as distribution of vaccine and continued research. Support is also being sought for relief packages for individuals and small businesses.
Second on the list is the request to fully fund and support national security and science at Los Alamos National Laboratory including the Pit Production Mission. The document maintains that LANL is a key economic driver in New Mexico and stimulates state and regional economic development. It adds that LANL continues to be the “Plutonium Science and Production Center of Excellence for the United States”.
The County is also requesting that defense environmental cleanup be funded at $250 million annually. Cleanup of DP Road and Rendija Canyon are both mentioned as well as making a priority of cleaning up Area G and the prioritization of moving transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in Carlsbad. The County also raises the need for support for conveyance of additional land to be used for specific goals such as housing and economic development.
The document requests support for the removal of an EPA requirement that the County obtain a permit for managing stormwater from LANL and other sites in the County which could eventually flow to the Rio Grande. If the EPA will not remove the requirement, the County is asking that DOE NNSA/EM provide the technical and financial support to monitor and mitigate the impacts of LANL legacy waste.
Finally, the County is asking support to include the Los Alamos Canyon Tunnel Vault and Clementine Reactor in the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The County believes the addition of the two facilities would provide a unique insight into a Cold War facility that could enhance the public’s experience of the MPNHP.
The complete document may be viewed at: https://losalamos.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4347429&GUID=5F5DAB4A-995F-4244-A48D-E0CD3C375016&Options=&Search=