What follows is an email sent to New Mexico Environment Department by Professor Dr. Michael Barcelona of Western Michigan University. His distinguished resume can be read here.
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 16:11:47 -0500
Subject: Request for a Class 3 permit modification to module IV of Waste Permit NM5890110518-1
Dear Mr. Weckerle and Mr. Kieling,
I write as a very concerned citizen and ground water scientist to express my continued outrage over the shameful record of both oversight ( by NMED) and history of work at the Sandia Mixed Waste ( SWMU 76) Landfill dump by SNL-DOE.
I have also attached my resume which details the work that I was able to contribute to the USEPA's efforts to establish identification, monitoring, and maintenance guidelines for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's oversight for hazardous waste sites. We did extensive work in establishing safe reliable sampling methods, selection of materials for wells, pumps, etc. and well construction techniques.
The documents are listed in the reports from the University of Illinois, Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan.
I can truthfully say that after working at hundreds of waste sites and some DOE and DOD sites, I have never seen a more troubling site than the Sandia MWL dump. The disposal of high level nuclear and chemical materials without adequate inventory, unlined waste sites with no effective cover, and the ridiculous monitoring well network that NMED told them was faulty in the early 1990's with repeated Notices of Denial through 1998 ( the Garcia report) borders on criminal in proportion to the continuing damage to the environment. The recent ( Sept, 2014) soil vapor monitoring results collected under the MWL dump Long Term Monitoring and Maintenance Plan ( LTMMP) alone show that many volatile organic compounds have been released that have appeared at depths up to 400 feet below land surface.
The dump has no doubt been leaking since it's inception in 1959.
-- I have read and agree with the numerous documents submitted to NMED, DOE and various citizen groups over the past 15 years by Mr. Robert Gilkeson, Registered Geologist, Mr David McCoy, (Citizen Action), and Ms. Joni Arends, (Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety), and Dr. Eric Nuttall, formerly of the University of New Mexico that have detailed the major issues on this and other sites (LANL Area G) that cry out for responsible action on the part of NMED. I strongly urge NMED to deny the permit modification request and reject the inclusion of the existing monitoring well network in the LTMMP.
I would also request that a public hearing be held to openly air the serious issues that are at stake if the status quo is allowed to continue.
Dr. Michael J. Barcelona,
Professor of Chemistry, Western Michigan University
3342 Wood Hall, 1903 W. Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008-5413,
269-387-2837, FAX 269-387-2909