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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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The fight is between NMED and DOE regarding violations

http://www.abqjournal.com/539546/abqnewsseeker/report-state-consider-fining-los-alamos-lab-another-100-million.html

According to the article, The fight is between NMED and DOE regarding violations of the consent order.

“The ball is entirely in the Department of Energy’s court right now,” Flynn said. “We’ve structured the compliance orders in a manner to give DOE an opportunity to take accountability for the events that occurred and to step up and work with us on a constructive path forward in order to resolve all of the issues that caused this release. We’ve indicated all along that if DOE is willing to take accountability for the events that caused the release and work with the state then we’d be willing to release them from any further liability at Los Alamos and WIPP. If DOE is not willing to take accountability for what’s occurred then they are going to face significant additional penalties.”

Obviously both NMED and DOE understand that the fines are not "against" LANS or LANL. If LANS gets socked for this, it will be by DOE, not NMED.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Further:

DOE and LANS are designated as "Respondents" in the original $54M violation letter and in the attached Consent Order. The letter also says "New Mexico will not tolerate any attempts by DOE to divert resources from the environmental or operational budget at the federal facilities in our state to pay for the penalties assessed in the attached Order."

LANS therefore has no funds that can be used to pay this fine, or any other. Previous award fees have all been distributed to the parent companies. The parent companies cannot be made to pay; that's what "LLC" means. So DOE is solely on the hook.

Anonymous said...

LOL! DOE/NNSA gives LANS $2.2B per year, but they don't have any money to pay fines. Really! That's like saying I give my kids an allowance, they wear Armani clothes, I pay for their leased vehicle, but they can't use that money to pay for their speeding fines. What's wrong with that picture?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with that picture?

February 10, 2015 at 5:22 PM

Nothing, if you understand what an LLC is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, LANS has no money to pay for fines, etc., that money "is spoken for" by LANS Management for their exorbitant salaries, bonuses, rewards, and perks, thank you vey much.

Anonymous said...

Nothing, if you understand what an LLC is.

February 10, 2015 at 5:33 PM

There are cases, up to the US Supreme Court, that "pierce corporate veil". In almost all of them, it was a case of environmental damage caused by a LLC that was ultimately held to be the financial responsibility of parent organizations.

Anonymous said...

February 10, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Yeah, and you expect this route to be taken by DOE, under Congressional scrutiny? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

What authority does the State of New Mexico have to proclaim that LANL cannot pay the fines out of operating funds? If NMED proceeds with these fines then the DOE/NNSA would be well within their rights to have the fines paid with money in the operating budget if they so wish. The State of NM can't dictate these type of things! This statement by NMED is ridiculous.

What you have here is a crazy game of chicken being played by both sides. The NNSA and LANS say "Go ahead and fine us and watch as with layoff hundreds of well paid employees in your state". The State of NM says "Pay these $54 million in fines right now or we will decide to hit you with even more fines that will total a quarter billion."

This thing has become very ugly and will probably be tied up in the court for years to come. And for the state of NM to threaten that they'll dramatically increase the fines unless LANL immediately pays up on the current fines is a blatant example of blackmail. It's time for Gov. Susanna Martinez to get on the phone ASAP and try to defuse this mess with the NNSA and LANL. Where is she?

Anonymous said...

The NNSA and LANS say "Go ahead and fine us and watch as with layoff hundreds of well paid employees in your state"

February 10, 2015 at 9:26 PM

Nope, they've never said that, and they won't. Politically untenable. NM and other congressional delegations from NNSA-site states would rise up and smite DOE and NNSA. No other state is going to support DOE/NNSA for polluting New Mexico. DOE will back down and a deal will be negotiated, probably involving LANS losing the LANL contract. Fasten your seatbelts.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Gov. Susanna Martinez to get on the phone ASAP and try to defuse this mess with the NNSA and LANL. Where is she?

February 10, 2015 at 9:26 PM

The beauty of this issue is that she instigated this "issue" by forcing LANS to meet unrealistic goals on the 3706 Transuranic Campaign. The woman is a pure genius. I hope she puts the $152M from DOE/NNSA to "good use" and doesn't just remodel the Governor's mansion, buy new furniture, china, and silverware. God forbid another evening gown!

Anonymous said...

February 10, 2015 at 6:09 PM

OK, now this gets real interesting. Specifically for environmental cases, the standard has come down to the commonality of the board of directors. If two LLCs share the same board, or almost the same exact one, then courts have ruled them to be inseparable for liability. Since LLNS and LANS have nearly identical boards, the LLNL fee may be one option to pay off the LANL fines.

Anonymous said...

"...If two LLCs share the same board, or almost the same exact one, then courts have ruled them to be inseparable for liability. Since LLNS and LANS have nearly identical boards, the LLNL fee may be one option to pay off the LANL fines..."

The courts have ruled two nearly identical LLCs share liabilities and profits of each other as needed? Interesting.
If true, the courts may officially view LANS and LLNS as LANSLLNS.

Anonymous said...

"THe courts" will never get a chance. That's the last thing DOE or NMED wants.

Anonymous said...


OK, now this gets real interesting. Specifically for environmental cases, the standard has come down to the commonality of the board of directors. If two LLCs share the same board, or almost the same exact one, then courts have ruled them to be inseparable for liability. Since LLNS and LANS have nearly identical boards, the LLNL fee may be one option to pay off the LANL fines.

February 11, 2015 at 7:08 AM

The LANS BoG and the LLNS BoG function as one in the same, have the same subcommittees, meet at the same places and times, etc. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. Yep, the boards are, for all practical purposes, inseparable. If the earlier poster is correct, this does open up the LLNL fee as one possible way to collect on the LANL environmental fines.

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