New Mexico Business Weekly - 1:43 PM MDT Monday, August 27, 2007
The New Mexico Environment Department has released a draft hazardous waste facility operating permit for Los Alamos National Laboratory. It is seeking public comment on the document.
The permit governs LANL's operation of 27 waste management units and the closure of three disposal units at the facility. It's designed to work in conjunction with the order mandating a "fence-to-fence" cleanup to remedy past problems and make sure hazardous wastes are properly handled, said John Goldstein, director of the department's water and waste management division.
The fence-to-fence order governs ongoing environmental cleanup and the draft permit requires cleanup activities after the order terminates, as well as ensuring the safe handling, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste at the facility.
The draft permit also establishes closure milestones and requirements for hazardous and radioactive waste landfills at Technical Area 54. The U.S. Department of Energy continues to allow disposal of radioactive waste in one of these landfills, known as Area G.
Under the draft permit, DOE would be required to close that dump and implement a cleanup plan that would protect human health and the environment. The closure plan would be open for public comment.
Written comments and requests for a public hearing will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Oct. 26. For more information, go to www.nmenv.state.nm.us/HWB/lanl_perm.html.