Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area, New Mexico, Site
The Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area (BCAA), New Mexico, Site was remediated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) Order 458.1.
From 1943 to 1967, the U.S. government owned the original 350-acre site, which is situated in both Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties, approximately 25 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Originally known as Technical Area 10 (TA-10), the site was a part of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Manhattan Engineer District (MED) constructed facilities in Bayo Canyon in 1943 and 1944. Until 1961, MED and later the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) used TA-10 for conducting explosives research.
Between 1960 and 1963, AEC decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities at the TA-10 site consisted of demolishing site structures, removing surface debris, and excavating contaminated waste disposal facilities. The TA-10 site was determined to be sufficiently free of contamination following D&D activities under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to allow its release from federal government control, and the property was transferred by quit claim deed on July 1, 1967, to its present owner, Los Alamos County.
On March 1, 2005, LANL, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM), and the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) entered into an Order of Consent to remediate sites in Los Alamos (25,600 acres), which included the BCAA site. In 2007, an RFI was conducted (1) to address specific requirements for the Bayo Canyon contained in Section IV.C.5.c, “Technical Area 10 Investigation,” in the Order on Consent, and (2) to complete the characterization of the site as specified in the approved Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area Investigation Work Plan (LANL 2005).
On January 31, 2017, NMED issued Certificates of Completion for all AOCs and SWMUs requested at the BCAA site (NMED 2017). These areas were determined to meet applicable RCRA standards and so could be released for recreational or residential use. However, DOE-EM determined that, based on human and environmental radiological health risk, Bayo Canyon could only be released for recreational use. (DOE EM, 2019)
In fiscal year 2019, DOE transferred long-term stewardship responsibilities for the BCAA site from EM to the Office of Legacy Management (LM).
For more information about the Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area Site, view the fact sheet.
Bayo Canyon, New Mexico, FUSRAP Site
The Bayo Canyon, New Mexico, Site was remediated under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP).
The Bayo Canyon Site, owned by Los Alamos County, is in the Pajarito Plateau Region near Los Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos National Laboratory radiochemistry operations and explosives experiments conducted between 1943 and 1961 contaminated buildings, sewer lines, and soils at this site.
Between 1960 and 1963, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) demolished site structures, removed surface debris, and excavated contaminated waste disposal facilities. Site ownership was transferred to Los Alamos County in 1967. DOE resurveyed the canyon in 1976 under FUSRAP and identified 1.5-acres with strontium-90 contaminants present underground. In 1982 DOE placed six monuments inscribed with “Buried radioactive material” around the area. The strontium-90 will have decayed below cleanup criteria by 2142.
Office of Legacy Management activities consist of managing site records and responding to stakeholder inquiries. In 2019, LM conducted a radiological survey and completed removal of a fence surrounding the 1.5 acre FUSRAP-remediated site, leaving only survey markers and protective bollards in place. No additional protective measures or maintenance is warranted at the time.
For more information about the Bayo Canyon FUSRAP Site, view the fact sheet.
- Site Documents Page
- Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area Site Fact Sheet
- Bayo Canyon FUSRAP Site Fact Sheet
- Bayo Canyon Aggregate Area, Los Alamos, New Mexico, Site Visit (September 2019)
- Status of Residual Radioactive Material in the Bayo Canyon (former Technical Area 10)
- Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance Plan for Completed FUSRAP Sites
- Aerial Photograph