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Environment

State Police Handling Haz-Mat Incident In Ojo Caliente

on January 23, 2016 - 8:00am

NMSP News:

New Mexico State Police is handling a hazmat situation that occurred Friday in Ojo Caliente near US 285 milepost 348.

Two individuals complained of possible exposure and were treated by EMS.  No major exposure or injuries have been reported.

The scene is secure and US 285 from milepost 346 to milepost 353 is closed and will remain closed until the hazmat has been deemed safe.  Out of precaution, the perimeter has been moved back another half mile and is now set at one mile north and south of the affected warehouse.

State Police received an initial report of smoke emitting

DOE And New Mexico Finalize $74M In Settlement Agreements For Nuclear Waste Incidents of 2014

on January 22, 2016 - 12:39pm

The New Mexico Environment Department, the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors signed two settlement agreements resolving the February 2014 incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad and the associated activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  The agreements provide for a set of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in both the Carlsbad and Los Alamos communities that enhance and improve New Mexico’s roads, water infrastructure and emergency response infrastructure. Courtesy/NMED

NMED News:

  • Agreements Include Schedules and Funding Parameters for Corrective

PEEC Offers Snowshoe Hike To Cañada Bonita Saturday

on January 22, 2016 - 8:31am
Youth enjoying a snowshoe hike on a beautiful winter day. Courtesy/PEEC
 
PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a beginning snowshoe hike from Pajarito ski hill parking lot to Cañada Bonita 9-11 a.m. Saturday.

PEEC’s educator Siobhan Niklasson will lead participants along a showshoe trail maintained by the Southwest Nordic Ski Club and point out ecological features of the winter forest. This family-friendly hike will cover 3 miles and about 300 feet of elevation change.

 
This is a free hike. Advance registration is required.

Bandelier Reduces Frijoles Canyon Analysis Of Access Plan Impacts To Categorical Exclusion

on January 22, 2016 - 8:23am
Shuttle bus at Bandelier Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS
 
BANDELIER News:
 
In 2012, the National Park Service (NPS) notified the public that an environmental assessment (EA) would be prepared to analyze the potential environmental effects of project alternatives to improve transportation conditions at Bandelier National Monument.  
 
This notice is to inform the public that the analysis of proposed action and associated impacts of the project has been reduced to a degree that an EA is no longer required.

Energy Department Announces $58 Million To Advance Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies

on January 22, 2016 - 8:21am
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
 
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced more than $58 million in funding for vehicle technology advancements and released a report highlighting the successes of DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program while touring the newest vehicle technologies Thursday at the Washington Auto Show.
 
Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to supporting the domestic automobile industry, Moniz announced a $55 million funding opportunity that will solicit projects across vehicle technologies like

PEEC Offers Bosque del Apache Birding This Weekend

on January 22, 2016 - 8:17am
Birders at Bosque del Apache. Photo by Mouser Williams
 
PEEC News:
 
Learn more about wildlife this weekend birding at the Bosque del Apache with two expert birders and excellent teachers, David Yeamans and Mouser Williams. The Pajarito Environmental Education Center is sponsoring the program.
 
Yeamans has watched birds most of his life starting in Los Alamos many years ago, and in the last five years, he has been a birder of the type he calls "semi-pro."
 
Yeamans is active in Audubon bird counts, bird banding, field trips, and local birding activities.

Heinrich Applauds Cosmic Campgrounds International Dark Sky Sanctuary Designation

on January 22, 2016 - 8:05am
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.   U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., applauded western New Mexico's Cosmic Campground on being designated International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
 
The Cosmic Campground is the first International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) location on U.S Forest Service land and the first dark sky sanctuary designated in the United States.

"The Cosmic Campground in Catron County brings visitors from around the United States and the world to enjoy New Mexico's unmatched wild places," Heinrich said.

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority Approves Planned Irradiation Project At Halden Research Reactor

on January 22, 2016 - 8:04am
LTBR News:
 
Reston, VA  Lightbridge Corporation, a U.S. nuclear energy company, announced Thursday that the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which operates the Halden Research Reactor in Norway, had received formal regulatory approval from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) for all planned irradiation of Lightbridge metallic fuel at the Halden Research Reactor in Norway, which is expected to begin in 2017.
 
This regulatory approval follows a safety report previously submitted by IFE to the NRPA relating to irradiation testing of Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel

Explore Mars In The Nature Center Planetarium Friday

on January 21, 2016 - 4:16pm
Courtesy/PEEC
 
PEEC News:
 
Learn more about Mars at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at the Los Alamos Nature Center as Rick Wallace leads a planetarium show and discussion of Mars, the challenges, opportunities, and realities of this red planet.
 
This special planetarium show is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are available by calling or stopping by the nature center. Seating is limited.
 
Planetarium shows are suitable for ages four and up. For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit here, email programs@peecnature.org or call 505.662.0460.
 
Pajarito Environmental Education

Caltech Researchers Find Evidence Of A Real Ninth Planet

on January 21, 2016 - 12:57pm

This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side. Courtesy/Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

CALTECH News:

This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side.
Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
- See more at: http://www.caltech.edu/news/caltech-researchers-find-evidence-real-ninth...

Caltech researchers have

IET Issues Call For Papers To Gas Turbine Instrumentation Community

on January 21, 2016 - 8:01am
IET News:
 
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)—a member organization of the Automation Federation—has issued a Call for Papers, inviting experts within the international gas turbine instrumentation community to share their latest research and results at the 2016 EVI-GTI Conference on Gas Turbine Instrumentation.
 
The conference, to take place in September in Berlin, Germany and bring together gas turbine professionals, process engineers and leading industry experts to discuss new and innovative instrumentation techniques, developments and applications relating to gas turbines

'Earthshaking' Science On Tap Jan. 21 At UnQuarked

on January 20, 2016 - 10:19am
LACD News:
 
Does one big earthquake lead to another?
 
While large earthquakes have occurred throughout the Earth's history, their number has dramatically increased in the last ten to fifteen years. What is it that makes the earth move under our feet? How is it that earthquakes can cause other earthquakes? Can human activities, such as “fracking,” also trigger earthquakes?
 
Paul Johnson with the Lab's Geophysics group will help explore this topic at the next Science On Tap, at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square.
 
Science On Tap is sponsored by the Los

Letter To The Editor: Bears Ears National Monument?

on January 19, 2016 - 7:47am
By JODY BENSON
Los Alamos

 Here in Los Alamos, we prefer data to anecdotal (so-called) information, and the data about public support of public lands as presented in the recent letter in the Los Alamos Daily Post about Colorado College’s Poll on Conservation in the West is heartening: 78 percent of New Mexicans value conserving public lands.

Los Alamites with access to the mesas and canyons appreciate the quality of life open space provides.

Secretary Jewell Launches Comprehensive Review Of Federal Coal Program

on January 18, 2016 - 2:13pm
Secretary Sally Jewell
 
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Secretary Sally Jewell announced Friday, that the Interior Department will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program in order to ensure that it is properly structured to provide a fair return to taxpayers and reflect its impacts on the environment, while continuing to help meet our energy needs.
 
This is another step along the path that President Obama announced in Tuesday’s State of the Union address to improve the way we manage our fossil fuel resources and move the

African Wildlife Presentation At Nature Center: Expedition To Masai Mara

on January 18, 2016 - 1:49pm

Wildebeests at sunset on the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Learn more about African birds and large mammals at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium, the Walkers and Coopers will share their photographs and stories from their trip to the Masai Mara in Kenya.

During their 10-day stay at two upscale tent camps, they encountered and photographed more than a hundred species of birds and 25 species of large mammals.

Daily Postcard: Leftover Autumn Leaves

on January 18, 2016 - 12:45pm

Leftover autumn leaves soak up melting snow near 15th Street and Central Avenue. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com

NMED To Sue U.S. EPA For Massive Waste Spill

on January 18, 2016 - 7:07am

NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn

NMED News:

 SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department has announced its intention to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—along with the State of Colorado and the owners of the Gold King and Sunnyside Mines—to address the environmental impacts resulting from the 2015 massive waste spill in the Animas River that EPA officials admitted to causing.

 In August of last year, the EPA caused a release of three million gallons of toxic mine waste into the Animas and San Juan Rivers, depositing toxins on the riverbed, agricultural lands, and

Thirst For Power, A Climate Change Solution In The Cards

on January 17, 2016 - 11:30am
Grid modernization is one of the many issues that will influence water and energy trade-offs in the future. Photo by Randy Montoya,/SNL for Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium
 
 
By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

A Los Alamos educational company that promotes science and technology literacy has been invited to participate in the Climate Game Night next week at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

DOE Announces $11 Million For Seven New Projects To Test Options For Optimal Efficiency Of U.S. Electric Grid

on January 16, 2016 - 11:34am

DOE News:
  • ARPA-E’s GRID DATA Projects will Develop Innovative Models and Data Repositories to Improve Transmission and Distribution of Electricity on the U.S. Electric Grid

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Energy Department’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced $11 million in funding for seven transformational projects that will develop realistic, open-access models and data repositories to aid in improving the U.S. electric grid.

ARPA-E’s new program, Generating Realistic Information for the Development of Distribution and Transmission Algorithms (GRID DATA),

First Fee Free Day At Bandelier And Other Federal Areas Is Monday

on January 16, 2016 - 11:33am

Entry sign at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

BANDELIER News:

 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 18,  and is this year's first Fee Free Day at Bandelier National Monument and other National Park areas all over the country, that charge entrance fees, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve. At Bandelier, there also will be discounts at the bookstore and gift shop.
 
In addition, entry will be free at Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management sites where entrance fees are charged.

LANL: Machine Learning Helps Discover Most Luminous Supernova In History

on January 15, 2016 - 10:32am

An artist’s impression of the record-breaking superluminous supernova ASASSN-15lh as it would appear from an exoplanet about 10,000 light years away in the host galaxy of the supernova. Courtesy/Beijing Planetarium - Jin Ma

Two of the 14-centimeter diameter lens telescopes in use for the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) that discovered ASASSN-15lh. Since this photo was taken, two more telescopes have been added to the ASAS-SN station in Cerro Tololo, Chile. Courtesy/Wayne Rosing

LANL News:

  • Powerful explosion 570 billion times brighter than the sun

Machine-learning

Los Alamos To Tackle Modernizing Energy Grid In DOE-Wide Laboratory Consortium

on January 15, 2016 - 9:29am

U.S. lights. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Grid Modernization Initiative Releases Multi-Year Plan with $220 Million in Funds

Under a new, $220 million U.S. Department of Energy grid-modernization program, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists will collaborate with other laboratories, academia, and state and local agencies on critical research and development in a number of key areas, such as advanced electrical storage systems and integrating clean energy into the grid. 

Up to $35.25 million in research funding could come to Los Alamos and its partners.

“Los Alamos scientists will

Positive Energy Solar Joins Master Dealer Network

on January 15, 2016 - 7:14am
PES News:
 
SANTA FE  Positive Energy Solar, a New Mexico-based solar installer, has joined the SunPower® Master Dealer network, a strategic partnership program designed to deliver global solar expertise to local communities through leading independent solar installers.  
 
SunPower carefully selects its Master Dealers, awarding the distinction only to installers that consistently put customers first and deliver the superior SunPower experience at every step of a customer’s unique solar energy journey.
 
Master Dealers offer complete SunPower solar solutions to homeowners, including the highest

Bill Priedhorsky Presents Talk To Mountaineers Jan. 20

on January 12, 2016 - 10:09am
Llama packer BJ Orozco and his staff, schlepping gear down the canyon of the Escalante River. Courtesy photo
 
LA MOUNTAINEERS:
 
Bill Priedhorsky, a local Los Alamos Mountaineers member, will present "Adventures in the Canyons: A Country of Puzzles" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. Social time and reports of recent and upcoming events begin at 6:30 p.m.

Priedhorsky will share some highlights of his 36 years of exploring, focusing on the last few years of new adventures.

New Mexico Voters Weigh In On Public Lands

on January 12, 2016 - 8:13am
COLORADO COLLEGE News:
 
COLORADO SPRINGS — Against an uptick in anti-public lands rhetoric from militant extremists, a new Colorado College State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll released today revealed strong public support for efforts to protect and maintain national public lands.
 
The poll surveyed the views of voters in seven Mountain West states—including New Mexico—on key public lands issues affecting the region, including proposals to designate new national monuments in the West, establish new environmental and safety standards for oil and gas drilling, and prioritize

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