Saturday, October 30, 2010

CMRR Being Scrutinized

NNSA hosted two public "scoping" meetings during the week of October 18, 2010, in northern New Mexico, in order to gather input on what should be studied in a new environmental impact statement for the CMRR facility.

The first meeting was held on Tuesday, October 19, at the White Rock Town Hall, 139 Longview Drive, in Los Alamos, the second on Wednesday, October 20, at the Cities of Gold Hotel in Pojoaque. Both meetings began at 4 PM and ended at 7 PM.

LANL employees had the right to participate, but their comments were to be submitted as private citizens rather than on behalf of the Lab.

Written comments could be submitted, by November 1, to:

Mr. John Tegtmeier
CMRR–NF SEIS Document Manager
U.S. Department of Energy
National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos Site Office
3747 West Jemez Road
TA–3 Building 1410
Los Alamos, New Mexico, 87544

KL attended the Wednesday meeting, in which the first hour and one-half was devoted to poster presentations by NNSA staff. In these presentations, citizens were informed of the latest complications in the Nuclear Facility (NF) portion of the CMRR project. The projected cost of the NF, for which plans have not yet been completed, has now risen to beyond $4 billion. The next hour was occupied by public comment.

Approximately 20 comments were presented by local citizens. Of these, only one was pro-Lab and pro-weapons development; that was the comment by Mike Loya, owner-operator of a local construction company. After the public comment period, a representative from Senator Udall's office thanked the NNSA for hosting the meeting, pointedly stating that the Senator wanted it to be known that NNSA had hosted the meeting entirely on its own initiative.

Two weeks prior to these meetings, however, on October 6, 2010, a hearing had been held in Los Alamos, at the Hilltop House, at which local citizens also discussed with NNSA officials matters of concern relating to the CMRR project. This was the second hearing on this topic to be held this year. Such biannual hearings have been going on since March, 2006, and are a part of a court facilitated agreement between local citizens groups and NNSA. At these hearings, NNSA is legally obliged to engage with local citizens.

Neither these two meetings, nor this hearing, were well-publicized.

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