EM’s cleanup activities at SNL take place at the SNL section located on Kirtland Air Force Base, adjacent to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Sandia National Laboratories-New Mexico Environmental Restoration (ER) Operations Project scope includes the remediation of inactive waste disposal and release sites, along with the characterization and remediation of three plumes of contaminated groundwater.
The regulatory driver for completing this work is the Compliance Order on Consent signed in 2004 by DOE, the Sandia Corporation, and the NMED. DOE’s approach is to work closely with NMED to complete RCRA corrective actions at the last three ER sites using cost-effective approaches that meet regulatory requirements.
The remaining cleanup scope includes three areas with contaminated groundwater in various stages of characterization and remedy selection — the Tijeras Arroyo Groundwater Investigation AOC, the Burn Site Groundwater Investigation AOC, and the Technical Area-V Groundwater AOC. All soil sites in SNL’s baseline have received Corrective Action Complete status from NMED and have been transferred to the laboratory’s landlord, the NNSA.
Planned Cleanup Scope 2021–2031
Beginning in 2021, DOE expects to complete the second year of planned characterization studies of the nature and extent of nitrate contamination at the Burn Site Groundwater AOC section of the laboratory, before resuming the corrective action process and proposing alternatives for a remedy. Four of the eight characterization/monitoring wells were installed in 2019, and up to four contingency wells are scoped to ensure installation of a clean down-gradient well. DOE plans to transition this section of the laboratory to long-term stewardship by 2030.
In 2023, the Tijeras Arroyo Groundwater AOC is planned to transition to long-term stewardship. An NMED decision on a final remedy end state is still pending. For Technical Area-V, EM hopes to finish installation of injection wells 2 and 3 and start full-scale injection in well 2 to meet corrective action activities that may continue through 2030.
Key Regulatory Milestones 2021–2031
Document Available for Download