Since its inception in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL) primary mission has been nuclear weapons research and development. In executing this mission, LANL released hazardous and radioactive materials to the environment through outfalls, stack releases, and material disposal areas. Additionally, mixed low-level waste and transuranic waste was generated and staged in preparation for off-site disposition.


J. Robert Oppenheimer and Lieutenant General Leslie Groves


The Office of Environmental Management (EM) mission at Los Alamos is to safely remediate and reduce risks to the public, workers and the environment associated with legacy material, facilities and waste sites. The work has been funded by the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) since October 1988 and performed by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)’s current Management and Operating Contractor at LANL since 2007. Cleanup work during this period included the shipment offsite of over 4000 drums of TRU waste, the characterization of a chromium plume on LANL property, and the demolition of two water towers.


President John F. Kennedy visits Area 400 MAD Building at Los Alamos in 1962

To facilitate cleanup efforts at LANL, in September 2014, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz directed NNSA and EM to transition the acquisition and management of EM-funded legacy cleanup work from NNSA to EM. The legacy cleanup scope transferred from NNSA to EM is referred to as the EM Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Completion Project (LCCP).

In order to transition the EM-funded legacy environmental cleanup work at LANL from NNSA to EM, Secretary Moniz approved a Transition Plan, developed jointly by NNSA and EM that provided for a federal workforce transition and establishment of an EM Field Office at Los Alamos (known as EM-LA). EM-LA was established on March 22, 2015.

In addition to the establishment of EM-LA and reassignment of incumbent EM employees, the Transition Plan provided for determining and fully staffing the new field office and transitioning the legacy cleanup scope at LANL from the NNSA-managed M&O contract to an EM-managed contract vehicle(s) in a two-phase process. The first phase was a sole source, short-term “bridge” contract, known as the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Bridge Contract, with the incumbent M&O contractor Los Alamos National Security, LLC. The second phase, the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract with Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B), is a new, EM-managed legacy environmental cleanup contract that resulted from a competitive acquisition following the bridge contract.


Los Alamos National Laboratory today