NNMCAB member Bob Hull, center front, responds to questions by Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler, at left, during a hearing Friday in Senate Chambers at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee Vice Chair Rep. Christine Chandler with NNMCAB Committee Chair Bob Hull outside Senate Chambers Friday following his presentation. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
SANTA FE – In his capacity as Chair of the Risk Evaluation and Management Committee for the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board (NNMCAB), Robert Hull of Los Alamos made a presentation to the Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee Friday, Nov. 12 in Senate Chambers at the State Capitol.
“The NNMCAB strives to ensure that decisions about environmental remediation and legacy waste management include informed advice from the community, and we openly solicit public participation in all of our deliberations,” Hull said in his presentation.
Sen. Jeff Steinborn serves as chair of the Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee and Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos serves as vice chair.
“The Northern New Mexico Citizen’s Advisory Board acts as an important community voice in determining EM priorities. Bob Hull’s presentation offered a great summary of its activities and priorities,” Chandler said. “The communities of Northern New Mexico are fortunate to have such strong citizen advocates as an interface with DOE/EM.”
Hull explained that the membership of the NNMCAB is fairly balanced in terms of view represented and functions to be performed. The NNMCAB is comprised of citizens appointed by the DOE to serve up to three two-year terms on the board.
The Board members represent broad geographic, cultural, and ethnic demographics:
Counties currently represented on the NNMCAB:
- Los Alamos (1)
- Santa Fe (7)
- Rio Arriba (3)
- Taos (3)
- San Miguel (1)
Pueblos currently represented on the NNMCAB:
- Pojoaque (1)
- San Ildefonso (1)
- Ohkay Owingeh
- Santa Clara
- Taos (2)
Hull discussed DOE Environmental Management (EM) and its mission. Created in 1989, DOE EM’s mission is to address cleanup of the US Cold War environmental legacy resulting from decades of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research, he said, adding that EM has been charged with cleaning up 107 sites whose area is equal to the combined area of Rhode Island and Delaware.
“EM has completed cleanup at 91 of these sites,” Hull said.
He also discussed Site-Specific Advisory Boards (SSABs).
“DOE EM SSAB has eight local site-specific boards under its umbrella. They were developed to involve stakeholders more directly in DOE EM cleanup decisions,” Hull said. “The Los Alamos SSAB is the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board (NNMCAB). The NNMCAB only addresses ‘legacy waste’, which is waste generated prior to FY 1990.”
The NNMCAB does not address WIPP except for the legacy waste shipped from LANL to WIPP,” he said.
SSAB responsibilities include submitting advice/recommendations to EM on site-specific issues:
- clean-up activities and environmental restoration;
- waste and nuclear materials management and disposition;
- excess facilities;
- future land use and long-term stewardship;
- risk assessment; and communications.
Also, representing and communicating the diversity of community views in their discussions and keeping the public informed on key issues, upcoming decisions and board recommendations, he said.
“The NNMCAB is dedicated to increasing public involvement, awareness, and education related to environmental remediation and legacy waste management activities at LANL,” Hull said, adding that one of the NNMCAB’s purposes is to assist the public in expressing their concerns and issues to the decision-makers at DOE EM.”
The NNMCAB Office is located on the Pueblo of Pojoaque. Anyone interested in becoming a NNMCAB member may contact: Executive Director Menice Santistevan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 94 Cities of Gold Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506 (505) 989-1662 or 1-800-218-5942.