- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on the cleanup of hazardous waste and contamination at Los Alamos National Laboratory (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Energy says it’s committed to cleaning up legacy waste left behind at Los Alamos National Laboratory by decades of bomb making and related nuclear research.

A department spokesman reiterated the commitment Wednesday after New Mexico regulators unveiled a new proposal for addressing hazardous waste and contamination in and around the northern New Mexico lab.

The DOE confirmed that it has been in discussions with the state Environment Department over a revamped cleanup schedule since milestones outlined in a previous agreement signed in 2005 has run out.

The department says it’s looking forward to reviewing the draft proposal.

A series of public meetings will be planned over the coming weeks and the public will have through May 16 to weigh in.


1:55 p.m.

As part of a new proposal to address decades of contamination at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico officials are hopeful the federal government will restore funding for environmental cleanup projects.

The state Environment Department has identified a series of “campaigns” aimed at cleaning up hazardous waste left behind by Cold War-era nuclear research and development.

State Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn says unlike the current consent order, the proposal would establish a clear plan forward with short-term milestones that are actually attainable.

Flynn says funding for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos should be close to $255 million a year. In recent years, the money budgeted for such work has dropped below $200 million.

Flynn says budget officials had criticized the previous order, saying none of the deadlines would be met.


1:45 p.m.

New Mexico regulators have drafted a new plan aimed at getting the federal government to clean up tons of hazardous waste and contamination at one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons labs.

The proposal comes after missteps by Los Alamos National Laboratory resulted in a radiation leak in February 2014 that derailed the government’s multibillion-dollar cleanup effort at the northern New Mexico lab and other defense-related sites across the country.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn outlined the proposal Wednesday.

It sets targets over the next three years for addressing old dumps on lab property, contaminated sites within the town and a plume of chromium contamination that’s headed toward a Native American community and the Rio Grande.

Flynn says the current order is outdated and hasn’t worked. He hopes the new proposal will encourage the government to restore funding for the cleanup work.


4:18 a.m.

New Mexico environmental regulators plan to roll out a revamped proposal for governing cleanup of Cold War-era waste from one of the federal government’s premier nuclear laboratories.

State Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn is scheduled to outline the changes to the consent order with Los Alamos National Laboratory during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The presentation will kick off a public comment period.

Milestones for the previous agreement ran out in December as cleanup at the northern New Mexico lab and other national defense sites were derailed by the closure of the federal government’s underground nuclear repository due to a radiation leak.

State officials have been working on the revisions for months. Goals included an agreement that would result in actual cleanup and the remediation of radioactive and other hazardous wastes.

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