Regional Coalition Petitions Department of Energy for Legacy Waste Information
Board Members make plea to Dr. Monica Regalbuto, newly appointed Associate Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Environmental Management, requesting a Life Cycle Baseline Cost for cleaning up legacy waste at LANL
August 18, 2015; Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities held their monthly board meeting on Friday, August 14, 2015 in the Santa Fe County Council Chambers. The Board received a presentation on Tech Transfer from Katie Richardson of Senator Martin Heinrich’s (D-NM) office and David Pesiri of the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation. Terry Wallace, the Principal Associate Director of Global Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), also presented Board members with a presentation on the future of LANL’s workforce.
An important agenda item addressed by the board following the presentations was the approval of a letter to be sent to Dr. Monica C. Regalbuto, the newly appointed Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM) in the Department of Energy (DOE). The letter was a formal request that EM release information pertaining to the Life Cycle Baseline Cost stating the start-to-finish scope of work, (funding requirement, timeline of work and risk of each site), for cleaning up the legacy waste at LANL.
The Regional Coalition traveled to Washington, DC in February 2015 to request cleanup funding for FY16 in order to conduct an annual operation to reach desired cleanup results at LANL EM sites. Following that trip and other discussions with various Appropriations staff and Congressional officials, Coalition members have been told that without a Life Cycle Baseline Cost they cannot properly defend their monetary requests for cleanup. The Coalition strives to be good stewards of the lands affected by legacy and ongoing waste producing activities at LANL, but without receiving adequate information from EM and DOE officials regarding cost and timeline information for EM sites they are unable to properly advocate for cleanup funding.
In the letter addressed to Dr. Regalbuto, the Coalition states. “As the responsible party for EM sites across the country, we ask you to lead the charge for an expedited release of the EM-LA Lifecycle Baseline Cost to our communities.” The letter continues, “We ask that you help us in doing all you can to ensure we are empowered in our advocacy for cleaning up our communities and responding to the needs of our citizens.”
Dr. Regalbuto was confirmed as DOE’s Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary earlier this month. The Coalition hopes that she will be a catalyst in assisting the Coalition’s efforts to advocate for increased cleanup funding at LANL.
The Coalition will hold its next board meeting on Friday, September 11 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Tribal Council Chambers. The meeting is free and open to the public.
For media inquiries, please contact: Lindi Douglass, 806-584-1076, firstname.lastname@example.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 environmental remediation, regional economic development and site employment, and adequate funding for LANL. The 2015 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; Andrew Gonzales, Town of Taos; Commissioner Mark Gallegos, Taos County; Governor Earl Salazar, Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh; and Governor Raymond Loretto, Pueblo of Jemez; http://regionalcoalition.org.