Feb 7, 2008

Environmental groups sue LANL over water

KOB.com

SANTA FE (AP) - The managers of Los Alamos National Laboratory have been sued by a coalition of community activists and environmentalists.

They allege the lab is responsible for significant contamination they say is moving off lab property and into the region’s water.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Santa Fe.

It contends the lab has failed to comply with national pollution discharge permits for 59 storm water sites in the Los Alamos and Pueblo Canyon watershed.

The coalition alleges the lab is failing to monitor, report and control pollution.

The plaintiffs want the court to order the lab to comply with the conditions of the permits.

A call to lab officials for comment hasn’t been returned.

[Download the 38 page Amigos Bravos et al complaint here.]

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The suit seems to be long on accusations, but short on empirical evidence to support the accusations.

BTW, you should probably put the ".pdf" extension on the file so that web browsers will know how to open it.

Anonymous said...

What the heck are you talking about. The complaint is very specific.

I looked at random, and paragraphs 103-110 seem to have perfectly fine empirical evidence. 139 seems pretty concrete. 76-77 are pretty concrete.

You may like drinking illegal levels of contaminants, and you should feel free to do so. You should not assume that others share your tastes.

Anonymous said...

It is a complaint. The evidence is provided at trial. Considering CCNS was successful in in its Clean Air Act Lawsuit in 1996, I have no doubt this lawsuit will be successful as well.

Anonymous said...

If the SF activists had any brains they'd go after DOE instead of a Lab that has no money. That way they could make DOE/NNSA who's REALLY in charge and responsible, do what's needed to be done for years.

It's pretty obvious 5:45 ain't from the hill.

Anonymous said...

"If the SF activists had any brains they'd go after DOE instead of a Lab that has no money."

Read the complaint chuckles, DOE and Bodman in his official role are the first named defendants.

"It's pretty obvious 5:45 ain't from the hill."

Just out of curiosity, how is it obvious? What tipped you off?

You are wrong, of course, but I am still curious.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell (not being a lawyer), this suit seeks nothing else than what NMED has already imposed. And as Bodman has already said, there isn't any money to do it, based on congressional funding proposals. Since DOE cannot legally reprogram other money congress has appropriated, I see this suit as just more grandstanding. They may win, but the end result will be the same as if it never was brought, except that the lawyers will get rich. Oh well... It seems the complainants haven't grasped that DOE can't come up with money out of its own pocket - congress has to allocate it. They are essentially suing congress. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer either, but a quick read of the law at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/
uscode/html/uscode33/
usc_sec_33_00001319
----000-.html

indicates that Anastasio would be personally liable:

(6) Responsible corporate officer as “person”
For the purpose of this subsection, the term “person” means, in addition to the definition contained in section 1362 (5) of this title, any responsible corporate officer.

I don't really understand your gloating attitude towards pollution. My family lives in LA, and I care. I would hope that you would care for your family, or at least your neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I thought Anastasio and the other senior LANS were indemnified by UC.

Anonymous said...

Then do you think UC wants the fines?

Anyway, 8:26 is full of crap. Do you think the DOE appropriations says the programs may be run in contravention of other federal laws? Or do you think that there is an expectation that laws be followed?

Do you think that the fact that programs are in an appropriations law also exempts you from every law? Can you kill someone and harvest their organs for your project? Can you enslave people to help you write code?

Don't be such an ass.

Anonymous said...

For all your legal questions, you should ask our resident legal-eagle Chris Chandler. She is certainly "handling" this case ... of course, with the help of a big law firm in Santa Fe because Chrissy couldn't win a law suit for the Lab on her own...we hire only the best and the brightest legal minds as well as scientists!

Anonymous said...

"Can you enslave people to help you write code? "

Well ya, they are called postdocs.

Anonymous said...

9:48 here.

Well played, 10:00, well played sir.

Anonymous said...

Amigos Bravos???

Sounds like a bunch of Santa Fe guys???

Anonymous said...

9:48 pm: "Anyway, 8:26 is full of crap. Do you think the DOE appropriations says the programs may be run in contravention of other federal laws? Or do you think that there is an expectation that laws be followed?"

Nope, just as I said: there's no money. Where do you think it will come from? Try to be specific in identifying a possible, and legal, source. If not then what's the point of all this?

Anonymous said...

Overhead.

Complying with environmental laws is an overhead function, just like complying with bookkeeping requirements or security requirements.

Anonymous said...

> If not then what's the point of all
> this?

The point is to shut down the lab.
By any means or pretext available.

Anonymous said...

The way NNSA structured the LANS contract, there isn't enough money left over for LANS to fulfill all of its legal requirements and earn their fee too. LANS managers have to make some really tough decisions; clean water or new sports car? Fix the gloveboxes or take a luxury cruise?

The sad thing is, if this lawsuit is successful, LANS will have to lay off another hundred LANL employees. Probably those employees that now monitor test wells for contamination.

Anonymous said...

Embudo Valley? I thought that was upstream of LANL.

Anonymous said...

Denial, denial, denial...spin, spin, spin...bash, bash, bash...whine, whine, whine

--Standard Lab Defender Script

Anonymous said...

"The sad thing is, if this lawsuit is successful, LANS will have to lay off another hundred LANL employees. Probably those employees that now monitor test wells for contamination."
--2/8/08 6:40 AM

Of course that's really all that matters, isn't it? Keep the money train coming in so we, the taxpayer, can create more fat and happy retired millionaires on the Hill. What is that Hill made up of anyway...dung? You all are so damn wrapped up in your own self interest that you can't seem to ever see beyond your pension plan and bank accounts. Yet your millions aren't going to do you any good when they're lowering you or one of your loved ones into the ground because you were too damn stupid and greedy to want to clean up your messes. That’s what this lawsuit is all about by the way--cleaning up YOUR messes! Sorry that it offends you much. Not!

Anonymous said...

It is a complaint. The evidence is provided at trial.
=============

7:08,

Evidently you are unaware of the fact that
a Plaintiff needs to set out a "prima
facia" case in the complaint.

If a Plaintiff fails that - then the judge
can grant summary judgment in favor of the
Defendant.

For example, here is the ruling of
Judge Sylvia Rambo when she dimissed
the case of those that sued as a result
of the Three Mile Island accident:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/
shows/reaction/readings/tmi.html

"The paucity of proof alleged in support
of Plaintiffs, case is manifest."

A Plaintiff can not just file a complaint of vacuous allegations -
there must be something to support
Plaintiff's case in the complaint.

So don't take a haughty tone; when it
is you that showed ignorance of the
legal standards.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer either, but a quick read of the law
=============
9:09

You're right - you're not a lawyer.

You misapplied a section of law that
pertains to private entities.

Los Alamos is NOT a private entity. The
US Gov't owns the lab and dictates its
operations. Congress can exempt a unit
of government from compliance, and does.

The private entity Los Alamos LLC; is
endemnified as long as it faithfully
executes the directives of the Gov't.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe that I got it right. If Congress had exempted LANL from compliance with other federal laws, then it would be easy to show this during the defense - LANS/DOE could just point to the law. LANS will be responsible for the fines, but DOE will reimburse them (or pay them when the bill is presented). The indemnification can go away if it is willful, which it will be after LANS and DOE lose this case.

More likely is an injunction stopping work until the problem is fixed. I imagine you don't care, since you get paid either way.

Anonymous said...

More likely is an injunction stopping work until the problem is fixed. I imagine you don't care, since you get paid either way.
=================

2:51,

That's correct; I get paid either way
because I DO NOT work for either LANS
nor Los Alamos.

I am an attorney - and you have it
absolutely WRONG!!!

Leave the legal opinions to the
professionals instead of blathering
them here.

You evidently have ZERO concept of
pre-trial motions. You don't defend
a case of an exemption at trial.

That's not a material question to be
presented to a jury.

It is a question of law to be decided
by a judge - and that's where you
get a summary dismissal by the judge
BEFORE it even reaches the trial stage.

Anonymous said...

2/7 11:02 pm: "Complying with environmental laws is an overhead function, just like complying with bookkeeping requirements or security requirements."

Uh, sorry, but security at LANL has been direct-funded (just like any other program) by NNSA since 1991. The security divisions at LANL get their funding from NNSA, not Lab overhead.

Anonymous said...

Uh, sorry, but security at LANL has been direct-funded (just like any other program) by NNSA since 1991. The security divisions at LANL get their funding from NNSA, not Lab overhead.
========

It never ceases to amaze me how people can
talk out of their "nether regions".

We have in this thread examples of posts
from people that are absolutely clueless
about how LANL programs are funded and
the workings of the legal system.

But does that stop them from spouting
absolute drivel?? Not in the least.

People should remember the old Chinese
proverb; "Tis better to keep your mouth
shut and let people think you a fool;
rather than to speak up and remove
all doubt"

Pinky and The Brain said...

People should remember the old Chinese proverb; "Tis better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you a fool; rather than to speak up and remove all doubt"

I thought that was from Proverbs 17:28.

Anonymous said...

7:44 pm: Physical security programs at LANL are funded through B&R FS20, out of NNSA Headquarters, from Associate Administrator for Nuclear Security Bill Desmond, NA-70. Cyber security is funded out af a different office. Neither are "overhead" funded at LANL. Get a clue. Call the ADSS office if you can't get it.

Let's hear you refute these easily verifiable facts.

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