What Does the Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board Do?
We are a community advisory group that was chartered in 1997 to provide citizen input to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on issues of environmental monitoring, remediation, waste management, and long-term environmental stewardship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
A U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, that provides the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management and designees with independent advice, information, and recommendations on issues affecting the EM program at various sites. Among those issues are clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long-term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
Regarding LANL: The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is located in Los Alamos, New Mexico on 28,000 acres in Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties of north-central New Mexico, approximately 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 25 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. LANL is a multi-program national laboratory with research and development programs in a broad range of scientific and technical fields. The laboratory was established in 1943 to design, develop, and test nuclear weapons. Many of the laboratory's operations required hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials, such as plutonium and uranium. Use of these materials resulted in the contamination of facilities, and in some cases, the surrounding environment.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of EM program at LANL's primary functions are to: (1) cleanup contaminated sites on Los Alamos National Laboratory and surrounding private and government-owned lands to levels appropriate for the intended land use; (2) protect and monitor the regional aquifer; (3) decontaminate and decommission excess facilities affecting environmental restoration actions; (4) retrieve legacy transuranic wastes and ship it to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant; and (5) conduct long-term surveillance and monitoring, until turned over to the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous agency within the DOE. Completion of phases of this project is scheduled through 2015.
Community Involvement: Advisory Board meetings serve as a two-way exchange between members of the public and DOE. They always include a public comment and question/answer period through which you can voice your issues or submit written questions. DOE responds to the comments and considers them during decision-making.
The Mission of the Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board is to provide meaningful opportunities for collaborative dialogue among the diverse multicultural communities of Northern New Mexico, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and state and federal regulatory agencies. The Board's responsibilities include providing advice and recommendations on DOE Environmental Management (EM) programs regarding environmental restoration, waste management, monitoring and surveillance, outreach, future land use and long-term environmental stewardship, and associated environmental issues. The Board requests early ongoing community access to information including its interpretation and implications facilitating dialogue that ultimately improves the quality of the decision-making processes of DOE and LANL.
The Board interacts with the DOE to provide advice on matters within its scope, on behalf of the citizens of Northern New Mexico. These matters may be raised by Board members, the public, DOE, or federal, state, or local regulatory agencies. The Board seeks a free and open two-way exchange of information and views between Board members and the participating agencies. Board members may request access to independent technical advice, staff, and training. The Board will remain accountable to the public and DOE and seek to promote multicultural community involvement
You don't have to be a formal CAB member to serve on a committee or come to a Board meeting. To get involved call the CAB office at (505) 989-1662. The staff can direct you to the next meeting that interests you.
If you have any suggestions on how we can better serve New Mexico-- Please let us know.