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NM Testimony At Joint Congressional Hearing Reveals EPA Misled With Incomplete, Cherry-Picked Data

on September 22, 2015 - 9:41am

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn

NMED News:

SANTA FE – At Thursday’s Joint Congressional Hearing for Natural Resources and Oversight & Government Reform, New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn clarified numerous discrepancies from testimony made earlier in the day by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the agency’s summary-level, cherry-picked data that sought to downplay the severity of the Gold King Mine spill.

Flynn testified that the EPA neglected to include a key contaminant, arsenic, among the data supplied.

PEEC: International Solutions To Fire Management

on September 21, 2015 - 8:13am

International Prescribed Fire Training Exchange participants in the field. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Fire management is a global challenge and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the Nature Center, fire management experts from this year’s International Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (IPFTE) will present solutions for using fire to maintain local forests and grasslands.

This is the fifth year for the IPFTE, a program held annually in the Jemez Mountains and hosted by the Nature Conservancy and The Santa Fe National Forest.

Heinrich Calls For Reforms To Mining Law In Environment And Public Works Hearing On Recent Spill

on September 20, 2015 - 8:19am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. spoke at a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) oversight hearing Wednesday on the Gold King Mine spill that occurred last month.
The committee examined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) response to the accident, which caused a large plume of bright orange toxic waste to spill into the Animas and San Juan Rivers and pollute the Four Corners region, and the subsequent impact it had on the environment and economies of local states, communities, and Indian tribes. 

VIDEO: Heinrich Remarks On

Heading Into The Unknown…

on September 19, 2015 - 9:28am
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly takes a selfie with the Bahamas from 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. Courtesy/NASA
NASA Astronaut

Almost everything we know about living in space ends at six months. Now that I am at the midpoint of my mission, heading into the second half of one year in space aboard the International Space Station, I am looking forward to exploring the science of this uncharted territory and stepping into the unknown.

My Russian colleague Mikhail Kornienko and I are living in space for one year to push the edge of our scientific

Energy Department Announces $102 Million To Tackle Solar Challenges, Expand Access To Clean Electricity

on September 19, 2015 - 8:34am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut climate-changing carbon pollution and continue building a clean energy economy in the United States, the Energy Department announced more than $102 million in new projects and available funding to support American leadership in clean energy innovation.
More than $52 million will support 22 new projects in partnership with companies, non-profit organizations, universities, and national laboratories that aim to make solar energy more affordable and accessible across the nation.
In addition, up to $50 million

Clean-water Groups Respond To Ryan Flynn's Congressional Testimony

on September 19, 2015 - 8:09am

CVNM News:

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday regarding August’s Gold King Mine spill in the Animas River, promoting New Mexico's management of natural resources.

But Flynn’s actions at the Environment Department have put New Mexico in greater danger of such water-contamination disasters in the future.

“The Animas River toxic spill provides an opportunity for Ryan Flynn and the state of New Mexico government to re-evaluate their neglect of, and indifference to, the need for stringent environmental regulations in

Clouds Decorate The Sky Over San Ildefonso

on September 19, 2015 - 7:51am

Clouds decorating the sky over San Ildefonso were captured on camera during a recent outing. Photo by Jennifer Bartram

Udall At EPW Hearing: New Mexicans Deserve Compensation, Long-Term Plan For Gold King Mine Spill

on September 18, 2015 - 7:25am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
WASHINGTON During a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall called for action to help communities affected by the Gold King Mine wastewater spill into the Animas and San Juan rivers.
Udall discussed confusion and mistakes made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the immediate aftermath of the spill, and committed to introducing two bills to help Northwestern New Mexico recover and help prevent another disastrous mine spill.
Udall, along with Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rep.

NNSA: Last HEU Removed From Switzerland

on September 18, 2015 - 7:17am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), working in collaboration with the Government of Switzerland, announced that approximately 2.2 kilogram of U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) has been returned from the University of Basel in Switzerland to the United States.
The HEU is from AGN-211-P research reactor, which commenced operation in 1961 using U.S.-origin HEU Material Test Reactor (MTR)-type fuel. 
The reactor was operated for decades by the University of Basel for education and research purposes, but the decision

Energy Department Announces $70 Million For Innovation Institute On Smart Manufacturing

on September 18, 2015 - 7:10am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Energy announced Wednesday $70 million in funding for the next Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will be focused on smart manufacturing.
With this investment, the Department aims to support research and development advancements that can reduce the cost of deployment for technologies such as advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling for manufacturing by as much as 50 percent.
As part of President Obama’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (NNMI), the institute will also demonstrate these

SFNF Prescribed Burn Oct. 1 - Dec. 31

on September 18, 2015 - 7:09am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct a prescribed burn in Gallinas Canyon on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District. 
The window for the Gallinas Canyon prescribed burn will open Oct. 1 and extend through Dec. 31. The decision to burn will be dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources.
The 500-acre Gallinas Canyon treatment area is located approximately 20 miles west/southwest of Las Vegas, NM.

Los Alamos To Team With Procter & Gamble In Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative

on September 17, 2015 - 9:40pm

LANL and consumer products company Procter & Gamble will form one of the seven ‘innovation pairs’ working to bring sustainable ideas from some of the nations top scientists into the day-to-day world of manufacturing. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Clean energy manufacturing efforts will get a boost, thanks to a new national laboratory-industry collaboration pilot announced this week by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI).

Los Alamos National Laboratory and consumer products company Procter & Gamble will form one of the seven ‘innovation pairs’ working to

Energy Department Selects Five Projects In First Step To Produce Fresh Water From CO2 Storage Sites

on September 17, 2015 - 7:57am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Today, the Department of Energy announced the selection of five projects that will study the feasibility of using salty wateror brine from carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites to produce fresh water.
These projects – which will receive more than $7 million in funding from the Departmentwill develop and validate strategies to manage pressure and the flow of CO2 in saline formations through a Brine Extraction Storage Test (BEST).
By managing the pressure and the flow of CO2also known as a plume steeringbrine can be extracted from the formation at specific

Secretary Moniz Unveils Roadmap To Double U.S. Energy Productivity By 2030

on September 16, 2015 - 5:08pm
DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  In support of the President’s goal to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030, Secretary Ernest Moniz unveiled a strategic plan today laying out a path businesses, state and local governments, consumers and other stakeholders can use to achieve this goal.
The reportAccelerate Energy Productivity 2030: A Strategic Roadmap for American Energy Innovation, Economic Growth, and Competitiveness, identifies proven and effective strategies and actions to advance energy efficiency.
Strategies include: states securing energy productivity

Recycling Extraordinaire Presentation Thursday

on September 15, 2015 - 12:22pm

Pile of recycled trash. Courtesy/Freidman Recycling Company


Join the Environmental Sustainability Board for a presentation by recycling extraordinaire, Mike Smith, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Municipal Building, Room #110.

Special guest speaker, Mike Smith, of Freidman Recycling Company (the County’s recycling contractor) will discuss how Los Alamos County residents and businesses can improve their recycling efforts, and will answer the public's recycling questions. Smith also will discuss the global recycling market and how it directly impacts Los Alamos County.

Scenes Of Chaco Canyon By Los Alamos Hiker

on September 15, 2015 - 7:28am
Pueblo Bonito, the largest and best-known great house in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northern New Mexico, was built by the Ancestral Puebloans who occupied the structure between AD 828 and 1126. Photo by Robert Beberniss
Photo by Robert Beberniss
Photo by Robert Beberniss
Photo by Robert Beberniss

Governor To Unveil New State Energy Policy

on September 13, 2015 - 8:32pm

Gov. Susana Martinez


CARLSBAD — Monday morning, Gov. Susana Martinez will unveil a sweeping new energy policy and implementation.

Among other things, the blueprint calls for an “all of the above” approach to energy development that promotes the production of all sources of energy as a means of creating jobs, diversifying a key sector of the economy, and supporting the nation's efforts to achieve energy independence.

Later in the afternoon, the governor also will unveil a new campaign to raise public awareness and improve road safety in Southeast New Mexico.

Luján Questions EPA On Gold King Mine Spill

on September 13, 2015 - 1:32pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


  • Calls for Improved Communication and Better Mitigation Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District questioned a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about the Gold King Mine spill Friday at an Environment and the Economy subcommittee hearing. 

While Luján is not a member of the subcommittee, he participated in the hearing, “Oversight of Federal Facility Cleanup under CERCLA,” as a member of the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

Luján questioned Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator

Udall, Heinrich Welcome BLM Decision To Maintain New Mexico State Office

on September 13, 2015 - 1:11pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


  • Senators pushed agency to reconsider proposal to merge New Mexico and Arizona offices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Friday that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has heeded their call to reconsider a proposal to merge the New Mexico and Arizona state offices and will allow the offices to remain separate.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

The senators released the following statement:

“New Mexico’s many unique public lands issues — including our landscape’s strong connection to our state’s history and culture —

Fall Colors Begin To Emerge Along West Road

on September 13, 2015 - 8:54am

Fall colors emerge on a towering tree spotted Saturday along West Road. Photo by Jennifer Bartram

WIPP Update: Supplemental Ventilation System

on September 12, 2015 - 12:59pm

SVS installed in the WIPP underground. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

The Underground Ventilation System at WIPP is undergoing a significant change that will provide additional airflow in the underground. 

The large fan that is part of the Supplemental Ventilation System (SVS) was recently downloaded to the underground and has been successfully installed. The fan and shroud were connected to the new bulkhead and the associated electrical modifications are proceeding.

The fan is expected to be connected to the underground electrical infrastructure in October, once modifications to an underground

PEEC Monthly Wildflower Walk Sept. 14

on September 12, 2015 - 10:28am

Local wildflowers. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Since the Los Alamos area received an abundance of rain this summer, beautiful wildflowers abound even as the end of the summer draws near.

Join PEEC's Jemez Mountain Herbarium Curator Chick Keller for a Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 to discover what some of them are and where they can be found.

This will be an easy walk to identify some of the wildflowers that can be found in and around Los Alamos.

Award-Winning Author Sharman Russell Speaks At PEEC Tuesday

on September 11, 2015 - 7:02am

Sharman Apt Russell

PEEC News:

Revolution. renaissance. transformation: these are the words of Sharman Apt Russell, an award-winning New Mexican author, as she describes the exploding world of citizen science.

Russell will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. She will share her stories, knowledge and passion for being a part of the world where thousands of volunteers contribute to cutting edge science: monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration, watching clouds for NASA, or excavating mastodons.

Her most recent book, Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New

PEEC Day Trip To Explore Copper Mine Sept. 12

on September 10, 2015 - 2:07pm
PEEC News:
The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a rare chance to visit the abandoned Nacimiento Copper Mine 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 12, near Cuba, N.M.
The trip, led by local geology expert Patrick Rowe, will be fun and hands-on for both adults and children. Participants will start at the nature center, carpool to the side, and explore the area, with ample chances to find beautiful specimens such as petrified wood.
This popular tour will fill up fast, so it is recommended to register in advance at
In addition to the petrified wood specimens,

Bear Sought In Attack On Los Alamos Man

on September 10, 2015 - 10:50am
The entrance to the area where a bear attacked a Los Alamos man Wednesday on the Canon de Valle Trail is closed today while officers from New Mexico Game & Fish sassisted by Los Alamos police and LANL earch for the bear. The public is asked to stay away from the area. Photo by Chris Clark/
NMG&F vehicles are at the scene of Wednesday night's bear attack on a 56-year-old Los Alamos man on the Canon de Valle Trail. The man arrived at the Los Alamos Medical Center Emergency Department where he was treated, stabilized and transferred by Classic Air Medical to Christus St.