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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Sunday, January 25, 2015

LANL Vents Toxic Ground Vapors, Raising Air Quality Concerns

 Santa Fe, New Mexican, Saturday, January 24, 2015

WHITE ROCK — For years, workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory dumped canisters, drums and other containers of liquid chemical waste into shafts on a mesa bordering this small town near the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The containers leaked, creating a plume of toxic chemical vapor that has been seeping through tiny pores in soil and volcanic rock in a slow march toward regional groundwater and the Rio Grande.

A citizens advisory board approved a proposal in 2010 for the lab to clean up the plume by releasing the vapors into the air. The proposal presented to the board included using carbon filters to collect most of the contaminants. The lab would then ship the filters to a toxic waste dump in Utah.

But the cleanup began recently with the lab releasing the gases directly into the air without the filters. The state’s Environment Department approved the change without public notice. The lab and the state say a public hearing was not needed because the amount of pollutants that would be released into the air falls within the limits allowed by the lab’s clean air permit, which covers its entire 40-square-mile property.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lanl-vents-toxic-ground-vapors-raising-air-quality-concerns/article_e744de0a-4a7b-5f48-ba53-027625b93011.html

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another LANS FUBAR. But get this: NMED was caught under the sheets with them on this one.

Anonymous said...

Would not be surprising to see the Santa Fe New Mexican in the running for a major international award for investigative journalism. The scandals at LANL could net a Pulitzer before the science gets a Nobel.

Anonymous said...

NMED was caught under the sheets with them on this one.

January 27, 2015 at 4:26 AM

Oh come on. The lab does something completely above board and NMED backs them up as being within the regulatory guidelines and limits, but some nervous Nellies are still afraid something bad might happen. Seeking out the nervous Nellies and the disgruntled former employees, and blowing things out of proportion is what the Santa Fe New Mexican is known for. If the interviewees were asked "would you like to see LANL's entire budget go to environmental cleanup, they'd enthusiastically agree.

Anonymous said...

Is NM still using "cinder" or coal ash on the roads in the Winter as a salt substitute?

"...With salt for roads in short supply, everything from beet juice to cheese brine is being used to help drivers stay in control on slippery streets — including coal ash.

That’s right, for years, cities and towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, and Colorado have sprayed the toxic waste on roads to combat winter ice and snow. Municipalities often get it for free from power plants who are eager to dispose of it somehow and it never seems to be in short supply.

Coal ash, the residue left over from burning coal to generate electricity, contains some very dangerous substances including arsenic, lead, mercury chromium, and cadmium. When coal ash washes from a road into a ditch or storm sewer it can leach toxic compounds into the water and soil.

According to the American Coal Ash Association, 256,000 tons of coal ash were distributed for use on roads in 2012. Barb Gottlieb, director of environment and health for Physicians for Social Responsibility, said that using coal ash in this way “should be recognized as a problem.” She singled out chromium, for example, as a “very dangerous carcinogen” that is even more dangerous when wet.

EPA tests of the ash spread on roads have found that the concentration of arsenic varied wildly from 0.5 to 168 parts per million. The Centers for Disease control considers 3-4 ppm typical for uncontaminated soil..."

Anonymous said...

The post at January 27, 2015 at 2:36 PM is completely bogus, at least as regards NM.

Anonymous said...

No coal "Cinder" use in NM? Since when? I wish it was bogus. Please demonstrate otherwise. I would like to be proven wrong here.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/10/3383511/coal-ash-de-ice-roads/

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2014/03/10/is-coal-ash-safe-to-use-on-roads-some-experts-are-not-so-sure/


(KOAT Action 7 News Albuquerque, NM)

"KOAT Action 7 News saw crews out in full force Friday night, covering the roads with salt and cinder on NM 333 (if that's the only road they worked on, just say they covered NM 333 with salt and cinder). They did that all night, switching shifts when the clock struck 12."

http://m.koat.com/weather/road-crews-prep-for-winter-weather-in-new-mexico/23117998

Anonymous said...

The NM DOT link below says the NM road "cinder" is red pumice stone from the Santa Fe area, but the web links above say NM uses coal ash cinder (as well?).

http://www.ladailypost.com/content/how-nmdot-keeps-roads-safe-wintry-weather

Anonymous said...

NM uses gravel to support the windshield replacement industry!

Anonymous said...

As a regular driver on northern NM roads during snow season, I can say that the "cinder" is indeed red pumice. Just enough salt to keep it from freezing in the trucks.

Anonymous said...

There are conflicting web links here on NM road "cinder" composition. NM does have coal fired power plants and the question of coal ash or cinder used on NM roads (past or present) is probably a reasonable one to ask the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

Anonymous said...

The least LANS could have done was to serve notice to the surrounding communities so that schools could have bought students in off the playground. Instead, we have our children taking a "whiff" of the shit they tossed in air. No telling what they tossed and the latent effects on our kids. Disgusting!

Anonymous said...

"...But the cleanup began recently with the lab releasing the gases directly into the air without the filters. The state’s Environment Department approved the change without public notice. The lab and the state say a public hearing was not needed because the amount of pollutants that would be released into the air falls within the limits allowed by the lab’s clean air permit, which covers its entire 40-square-mile property..."

How did the NM Environmental Department define "limits" other than mentioning the 40 square mile property?

What are the particulars that define the "limit" figure?
For example does it consider "limit" with these factors:

1. Annual, monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly
(release rate)

2. Toxicity specific to the pollutant constituents

3. Wind speed, direction, and population of
downstream areas?

4. Other

Anonymous said...

Stop all the crying! The same *best and brightest* science that worked out how to pack LANL waste for WIPP was applied to this release. Don't you understand that?

Anonymous said...

January 30, 2015 at 6:09 AM

LANL's Clean Air Permit is public record. Do some homework and try not to look so completely clueless.

Anonymous said...

"...LANL's Clean Air Permit is public record. Do some homework and try not to look so completely clueless..."

Guidance from a member of the LANS WIPP environmental management dream team perhaps?

Anonymous said...

"...LANL's Clean Air Permit is Public Record..." ?

NM agencies have a history of not following their own rules. "Trust but verify" - President Ronald Reagan

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2000-05-19/news/0005190240_1_controlled-bandelier-national-monument-burn

Anonymous said...

The Forest Service is Federal Agency.

Anonymous said...

It was "local officials" in NM of the National Parks Service (Federal Interior Department) that "did not follow their own rules for a burn-off" in the year 2000. DOE/NNSA, LANS oversight, are Federal Agencies too.

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