Mr. Funk further opined that detonating explosives waste in specially constructive enclosures was much too expensive; i.e., as compared to detonations in the open air. Ms. Vigil-Holterman also pointed out that LANL has been detonating explosives waste in the open air continuously, since the 1950's, but without ever having had a formal Permit.
country's nation security without an appreciable benefit to the environment." During a later telephone conversation (on 8/22/11), Chairman Martinez told me that a continuation of the economic benefits being brought to the citizens of northern New Mexico, by DOE/LANL, were a matter of special concern to him.
In the past, it's been difficult for NMED to resist DOE/LANL's demands for additional permissions for hazardous activities not already covered under the Hazardous Waste Facility Permit (RCRA Permit). On 23 December, 2010 NMED outgoing Sec. Curry acceded to a LANL demand for an Open Burn Permit (of explosives residues) for TA-16. The OB Permit had only just been denied by NMED on 30 Nov, 2010, after weeks of public hearings presided over by Judge Joseph Alarid, who then issued his recommendation (evidently negative) to NMED. But, subsequently, NMED was bombarded by letters from local public officials attesting to the many benefits that open burning of explosives residues would have for the national interest; e.g., the mayor of Española who said that an OB Permit was "essential in order to protect our military and our nation's welfare."