October 18, 2016; Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) held their monthly Board meeting this past Friday, October 14th, 2016 at the Taos Plaza Old County Courthouse in Taos, NM from 9:00a to 11:00a.
From the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), NM Secretary of Environment, Bruce Tongate and Katie Roberts, Director of the Resource Protection Division reported on the updated Consent Order Agreement. This agreement between the NMED and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) guides and governs the cleanup of legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Roberts discussed how NMED has incorporated public comments received by 37 stakeholder groups and individuals. Within the new Consent Order, NMED assures that the opportunity for public comment on remedy selection for cleanup sites remains accessible and intact. The new Consent Order now requires annual public meetings, offering updates on milestones and targets reached, and will necessitate participation from communities impacted by any future modifications to the document. Regional Coalition Vice-Chair Mayor Gonzales, City of Santa Fe commented that the NMED seems to have “…really listened to the community and the RCLC to allow a process that is balanced and ensures an outcome that achieves community-driven action.” The first annual public meeting will be held on November 16th from 5:00p to 7:00p at Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos with a joint presentation by DOE and NMED.
The President & Executive Director of New Mexico Tax Research Institute, Richard Anklam, provided valuable information on tax history and policy concerning the NM gross receipts tax issue, which would eliminate the tax exempt status of managing & operating contractors of state-hosted DOE National Laboratories to ensure the State of New Mexico continues to receive tax revenue from LANL and Sandia Labs. Anklam reinforced that “the RCLC’s fiscal concerns are aligned with those of the State’s…and the contribution from the Federal Government and National Laboratories is a significant part of New Mexico’s economy and tax base”.
Former Board member Councilor Andrew Gonzales, Town of Taos, was honored for his four years of service on the Regional Coalition’s Board of Directors. He thanked the Regional Coalition for the opportunity to serve and for the Board’s dedication to the RCLC’s directives and constituents. The Regional Coalition’s November Board meeting has been canceled due to conflicting schedules. The next Board meeting, open to the public, will be held on December 9th from 9:00a – 11:00a at City of Santa Fe Council Chambers.
For media inquiries, please contact: Scarlet Rendleman, 505.660.6937, Scarlet@RegionalCoalition.org
ABOUT THE REGIONAL COALITION: The Regional Coalition is comprised of nine cities, towns, counties and pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Founded in 2011, the Regional Coalition works in partnership to ensure national decisions incorporate local needs and concerns. The organization’s focus is regional economic development and site employment, environmental remediation, and adequate funding for LANL. The 2016 Board of Directors includes Chair, Commissioner Barney Trujillo, Rio Arriba County; Vice-Chair, Mayor Javier Gonzales, City of Santa Fe; Secretary/Treasurer, Councilor Kristin Henderson, Los Alamos County; Mayor Alice Lucero, City of Española; Commissioner Henry Roybal, Santa Fe County; Councilor Darien Fernández, Town of Taos; Commissioner Mark Gallegos, Taos County; Representative Ron Lovato, Ohkay Owingeh; and Lt. Governor Ward Yeppa, Pueblo of Jemez.