Results of the annual Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) inspection for 2017 by the New Mexico Environment Department indicate only five violations for proper management of hazardous waste for the year under Los Alamos National Laboratory’s RCRA Hazardous Waste Operating Permit, a marked improvement from previous years.
LANL’s chief spokesman said Wednesday that overall, this year’s annual RCRA inspection by the State shows improvement in Lab performance from past years, as evidenced by fewer non-compliances.
“That said, we continue to strive for the best possible compliance record particularly when it comes to protecting the environment, the public and our workforce,” he said.
The five violations listed in a March 13 letter from NMED:
- NMED observed a cardboard box at TA-54, Area L containing Vanadium Oxide, which was labeled as non-hazardous waste but is actually an “acutely toxic waste”.
- Two five-gallon containers labeled as liquid oxidizers were observed stacked on top of a five-gallon container labeled flammable solids also at TA-54, Area L.
- A flammable cabinet observed at TA-49 storing wastes which was cited as a failure to make a hazardous waste determination.
- NMED observed two 250mL containers at TA-1, Bldg.1237 labeled “mis-preserved with HNO3” or nitric acid. Testing indicated that the containers had a pH less than 2.
- Oil was observed leaking from mixing equipment at TA-15 outside Bldg. 603.
The letter indicated that NMED has reviewed LANL’s response to the violations, which was submitted Feb. 16 and determined that the violations have been adequately addressed. NMED spokesperson Allison Scott Majure was unavailble for comment Wednesday afternoon.