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LANL Agrees to Increase Environmental Protections

Release Date: 2/3/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed an agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide additional water monitoring and improve management practices for solid waste management units at the Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) site.   The agreement will guide DOE through the steps it must take to comply with storm water management regulations.  

     "I commend DOE for its willingness to work through compliance issues at LANL," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "By signing this agreement, DOE demonstrates its commitment to work with EPA and New Mexico to protect the state's valuable natural resources."

     "This is an opportunity for us to address water quality issues and concerns at LANL," said  Ed Wilmot, Manager of DOE National Nuclear Security Administration's Los Alamos Site Office.  "How we manage this program is important -- to all of us -- and the Los Alamos community."

     New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry said, "Through the agreement signed today, the state of New Mexico will play a strong role in surface water protection at Los Alamos. NMED is now one step closer to moving forward with fence-to-fence cleanup of the entire LANL site."

     LANL's water discharges are currently regulated under a general permit developed for industrial activities in the United States.  DOE and EPA agree that the environmental conditions at the site and unique waste concerns make an individual permit more appropriate.  

     Today's agreement will serve as a bridge to provide additional onsite protections and monitoring while the individual permit is developed.  The individual permit will contain site-specific conditions to address water quality standards at more than 1,000 solid waste management units.  

     EPA coordinated closely with the New Mexico Environment Department, tribal officials, environmental groups and residents to ensure local concerns were considered.  EPA modified the agreement based on several comments received.

     LANL is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

     A copy of the agreement is available at  More information about LANL is available at