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"Forget the Rest" blog

August 6, 2003

The Honorable Bill Richardson, Governor
Office of the Governor
State Capitol, Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501 

Re:      We request cessation of nuclear waste disposal at Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) "Area G" landfill and formal closure of the site, as required by law.

Dear Governor Richardson -

On January 15, 2002, some 27 environmental organizations wrote Pete Maggiore, then Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), requesting closure of LANL's "Area G" chemical and nuclear waste landfill, which was then operating outside the regulatory framework required under the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act and the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  This situation remains unchanged today.

That letter, which summarizes the history, environmental setting, and regulatory context of Area G, is attached.  No substantive reply to this letter has been received.

In addition to these organizations, at least 3,000 individual New Mexicans have petitioned the Governor's office to enforce existing law and close this dump. 

We are writing you today to respectfully remind you of the State's long-standing obligation to close Area G to further nuclear waste disposal and begin a process of selecting remedies for the site that meet, in process and substance, all the applicable legal requirements of the above laws.  

While the regulatory context of "cleanup" at Los Alamos has become increasingly complex, neither the physical situation nor the core of our concern has changed.  Especially given the multiple negotiating forums open between the NMED and the laboratory's owners and managers, it is important for you to provide clear overall policy direction, lest state and federal resources be squandered in continued temporizing and distractions.  Certainly, as long as large-quantities of newly-generated nuclear waste, as well as chemical waste (specifically, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs) are being permanently buried in unlined shallow pits at Los Alamos, there is no real "cleanup" going on. 

We would be delighted to discuss this matter in greater detail with you and your staff at your earliest convenience. 


[signatures follow]

cc:    Patricia Madrid, Attorney General

        Senator Jeff Bingaman

        Senator Pete Domenici

        Congressman Tom Udall

        Governor John Gonzales, San Ildefonso Pueblo

        Governor Simon Suina, Cochiti Pueblo

        Secretary Spencer Abraham, Department of Energy

        George Rael, Acting Manager, Environmental Programs, NNSA AL

        Ralph Erickson, Federal Manager, Office of Los Alamos Site Operations (OLASO)

        Joe Vozella, OLASO

        Robert Dynes, President, University of California

        Pete Nanos, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory

        Ron Curry, Secretary, New Mexico Environment Department

        Mary McInerny, Los Alamos County Administrator


Signatories of August 6, 2003 letter:



Dorelen F. Bunting, Coordinator

Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center    

Jill Felice

Assistance Dogs of the West

PO Box 31027

SF 87594

Ph 986-9748

Terry Schleder, MPH, Coordinator

Bernalillo County Maternal & Child Health Planning Council

Sue Dayton, Director/Coordinator

Citizen Action of Albuquerque

Elaine Cimino

Citizens for Environmental Safeguards

48 Camino Montoya

SF 87507

Ph 424-3630

Fax 424-9593

Coila Ash, Director, Executive Director

Creative Commotion, Voices for Social Change

Caron Balkany, Director


17 Paseo Vista

SF 87508

Ph 989-1563

Eulynda Toledo Benalli (from the Dine' Nation)

on behalf of First Nations North and South

John Horning, Conservation Director

Forest Guardians

Ted Cloak

Bernalillo County Green Party

1613 Fruit Ave NW

Albuquerque, NM 87104

Ph 505-243-5069

Joe Lacyo & Lydia Clark, Co-Chairs

New Mexico Green Party

Tom Knoblauch, Co-Chair

Santa Fe County Green Party

Greg Mello, Director

Los Alamos Study Group

Peter Neils, Director

Native Forests Network

Monika Steinhoff

New Mexico Artists Billboard Project and

aSEA, Association of Socially Engaged Artists


Carol Miller, Founder

Peace Economy

Linda Hibbs

People for Peace


Scott Pittman

Permaculture Institute

PO Box 3702

Pojoaque, NM 87501

Ph 455-0514

Marsha Mason, President

Resting in the River

528 Don Gaspar

SF 87505


Penny McMullen

Sisters of Loretto

David Bacon, President

Southwest Energy Institute

Michael Guerrero, Executive Director

Southwest Organizing Project

Don Hancock

Nuclear Waste Program Coordinator

Southwest Research & Information Center

Kenneth Mayers

Veterans for Peace - Santa Fe Chapter

7 Avenida Vista Grande

SF 87508

Ph 466-6954

Sam Hitt, Founder

Wild Watershed



David Jacoby

Back Street Bistro

513 Camino de las Marquez

SF 87505

Ph 982-3561


Carmen Blue, owner

Blue Moon Books & Video

329 Garfield

SF 87501

Ph 982-3035


Clif Perry

Chocolate Smith

1807 Second St #31

SF 87505

Ph 473-2111


Deborah Garlin, Attorney

PO Box 32642

SF 87594

Ph 954-4950


Matthew Kelley, M.D.

1114 Hickox

SF 87505

Ph 982-9961


Nancy Oliver

1299 Vegas Verdes, Spc 28

SF 87507


Kari Andri Kopoulos, owner

One Heart Pilates Studio

1419 Miracerros Lp South

SF 87505

Ph 986-1479


Katie Mehrer, owner

Pilates for the People

1545 Cerro Gordo

SF 87505

Ph 984-0836


Plants of the Southwest

3095 Agua Fria Rd

Santa Fe, NM 87507

Ph 438-8888


Kathleen Savage, Owner

Santa Fe Hemp

105 Water St

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Ph 984-2599


Elaine Sullivan, member


Ph 988-9708



Kenneth Stoller, M.D.

404 Brun School Rd

Santa Fe, NM 87505

Ph 820-6234


Bettina Raphael, owner

SW Conservation Lab

611 Cortez St

SF 87505

Ph 989-9065


Deborah Snyder, Publisher

Synergetic Press

#7 Silver Hills Rd

Santa Fe, NM 87508

Ph 424-0237


Duke Klauck, Owner

Ten Thousand Waves, Japanese Spa

PO Box 10200

Santa Fe, NM 87504

Ph 992-5027


The Ark Bookstore

Karin Arielle

133 Romero

SF 87501


Jasmine Stewart

The Pottery Studio

135 Sombrio Drive

SF 87501

Ph 982-6787


Tropic of Capricorn

86 Old Las Vegas Hwy

Santa Fe, NM 87505

Ph 983-2700


Video Library

120 E Marcy St

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Ph 983-3321


Wild Mountain Outfitters

John Asher

851 St. Michaels Dr Unit 1

SF 87505

Ph 986-1152

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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