On July 20, 2020 Citizen Action New Mexico filed a document with NMED entitled SUPPLEMENT TO NEW MEXICO ENVIRONMENT DEPARTMENT BRIEFING FOR SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES MIXED WASTE LANDFILL 5-YEAR REPORT.  The CANM document urged NMED to issue an Order to Sandia National Laboratories to excavate the Mixed Waste Landfill at the SNL location. 

The SNL 5-Year Review indicated SNL could reliably excavate the MWL and ship the wastes offsite.  The CANM document also cited the duty of NMED to respond to comments of the public regarding the 5-Year Review submitted by SNL in December 2018. Both the duties for NMED to respond to the 5-Year Review and to the public comments are required by the 2006 Final order and the 2016 Final Order of the NMED. 

The NMED response to CANM for its May 26, 2020 public records request included an 11 page March 2020 power point entitled SNL Mixed Waste Landfill Overview (“Briefing”) and five emails. As of December 2018 when the 5-Year Report was submitted, Sandia estimated it could begin the excavation and removal planning process (CMIP)by 6/30/2020. (Pg. D 3-11).  The NMED Briefing ignored the SNL statement and has made no comment to the public about Sandia’s offer.  Two and a half years have passed with no NMED apparent effort made for review and response.  There are no emails or other documents showing that NMED made efforts during the 1½ year period from December 2018 to May 2020 to consider the DOE/Sandia recommendations of excavation and offsite disposal.[1]

Two and one half years have now passed since the SNL submission of the 5-Year Review.  Another 5-Year Review is due on 1/1/2024 based on the requirements of the 2006 Final Order.  What length of time does the NMED consider as reasonable to delay a response to the Citizens and the SNL report? Precious time for cleanup of the MWL is being lost due to NMED delay.  The SNL 5-Year Review was issued a full year before the Covid-19 pandemic. 



All documents whether drafts or in final form of notes, phone logs, calendars, drafts, telephone messages, time tables, electronic or written by other means related to the NMED evaluation of the Sandia National Laboratories 2019 5-Year Review for the Mixed Waste Landfill;

  1. NMED or SNL review/responses to all public comments received;
  2. Any records of consultations or documents whether internal to NMED or sent to or received from SNL or other state or federal entities with respect to the MWL 5-Year Review;
  3. Records related to assignment of duties of NMED personnel or outside contractors to the above items.



Thank you.


June 6, 2021


David B. McCoy, Executive Director

Citizen Action New Mexico

818 448-9981

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



[1]5-Year Review Section 1.6 “The NMED is responsible for review and approval of this report, and providing a process whereby members of the public may comment on the report and its conclusions. The NMED is also responsible for responding to public comments submitted during the specified public comment period.”