SANTA FE—The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is pleased to announce that New Mexico is one step closer to receiving critical federal funding needed to maintain ongoing environmental management efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Last week, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House sent a reprogramming request to Congress in the amount of $19 million. Reprogramming will allow the DOE to move necessary funds between their accounts during the current fiscal year but must be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Committees with jurisdiction.
“This is an example of the good work of the Congressional Delegation in partnership with the Office of the Governor and with support from local elected officials through the Regional Coalition can achieve in Washington,” said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, Chairman of the Regional Coalition. “Everybody wins when we have these strong partnerships.”
At last month’s Regional Coalition meeting in Española it was shared that for fiscal year 2013 the Obama Administration had requested $239 million for LANL cleanup budget. However, a continuing budget resolution froze the cleanup funding level at $189 million and sequestration cuts further reduced that figure to $173 million. Both New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and the Regional Coalition have been strong advocates for the reprogramming funds for New Mexico.
“Without the re-programming, we will see furlough notices and serious impacts in our ability to expedite the removal and off-site shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste currently stored above ground at LANL,” Coss said. “This is an opportunity for the federal government to keep their promise to the state of New Mexico.”
To date three of the four relevant Congressional Committees have approved the request and the delegation is advocating for an additional $21 million from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to meet a federal agreement with the State of New Mexico.
About the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities:
The Regional Coalition is comprised of eight cities, counties and pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL.) Founded in 2011, the Regional Coalition works in partnership to ensure national decisions incorporate local needs and concerns. The organization’s focus is environmental remediation, regional economic development and site employment, and adequate funding for LANL. The Board of Directors includes Chair, Mayor David Coss, City of Santa Fe; Vice-Chair, Mayor Alice Lucero, City of Española; Sect./Treas. Commissioner Danny Mayfield, Santa Fe County; County Councilor Fran Berting, Los Alamos County Council; Commissioner Alfredo Montoya, Rio Arriba County; Councilor Andrew Gonzales, Town of Taos; Commissioner Tom Blankenhorn, Taos County; and Ron Lovato, Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh.