SENATE MEMORIAL 30
51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2014
REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT TO ESTABLISH A COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE ORDERING SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES TO CONDUCT THE FEASIBILITY STUDY REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT'S 2005 FINAL ORDER AND TO REPORT ON THE FEASIBILITY STUDY TO THE PUBLIC AND THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, the mixed waste landfill at Sandia national laboratories operated from 1959 to 1988 to receive radioactive and hazardous wastes from nuclear weapons production; and
WHEREAS, these radioactive and hazardous wastes were dumped into unlined pits and trenches and are leaking into Albuquerque's drinking water aquifer that serves over six hundred thousand residents; and
WHEREAS, the documented wastes in the mixed waste landfill include more than one hundred barrels of long-lived plutonium-contaminated wastes, along with tons of depleted uranium and tritium and hazardous wastes such as lead, beryllium and solvents such as trichloroethylenes, or "TCE"; polychlorinated biphenyls, or "PCBs"; and perchloroethylene, or "PCE"; and
WHEREAS, the wastes in the mixed waste landfill pose a long-term danger to the aquifer that serves Albuquerque residents; and
WHEREAS, the department of environment's 2005 final order requires Sandia national laboratories to have the legislative interim water and natural resources committee conduct a feasibility study every five years for the feasibility for excavation of the mixed waste landfill and the suitability of the dirt cover over the landfill; and
WHEREAS, the department of environment's 2005 final order also requires the feasibility study to provide an update with current data regarding the fate and transport model for the mixed waste landfill; and
WHEREAS, the department of environment's 2005 final order requires the feasibility study to include a reevaluation of the likelihood of contaminants in the mixed waste landfill reaching ground water; and
WHEREAS, Sandia national laboratories has not performed the required feasibility study;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that in order to protect the public health and environment, the department of environment be requested to order Sandia national laboratories to conduct the feasibility study required pursuant to the department of environment's 2005 final order; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the department of environment be requested to report to the public, the appropriate committee of the legislature, the Albuquerque city council, the Bernalillo county board of county commissioners and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo county water utility authority with the results of the excavation study conducted by Sandia national laboratories pursuant to the 2005 final order; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the appropriate committee be requested to report to the senate by January 2015 with recommendations for further cleanup; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of environment, the director of Sandia national laboratories and the co-chairs of the New Mexico legislative council.
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