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Environmental Sustainability Board Meeting Thursday

on March 30, 2016 - 6:59am
A special meeting for the Envrionmental Sustainability Board will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at the Eco Station, 3701 East Jemez Road in the Eco Station Break Room.
The meeting is open to the public.
1. Call to order - roll call
2. Board business - Develop potential recommendations for brush and bulk item collection program. 
Presenter: John Bliss
3. Adjournment

Southwest Wineries Recognized For Safety Excellence

on March 29, 2016 - 8:16am
NMED News:
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) presented Deming’s Southwest Wineries with the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award for exemplary injury and illness prevention. Southwest Wineries becomes one of nine recognized SHARP participants in New Mexico.
March 10, a ceremony recognizing the company’s accomplishments was held at the Southwest Wineries site in Deming. Representatives from OHSB presented the company with the award.
“Southwest Wineries is proud to become a SHARP company,” Southwest plant

DOE Announces Millions In Funding For 16 Indian And Alaska Native Community Clean Energy Projects

on March 29, 2016 - 7:50am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for 24 American Indian and Alaska Native communities to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects. DOE plans to invest more than $9 million in 16 facility- and community-scale energy projects in 24 tribal communities.
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to partner with Tribal Nations, these projects provide Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with clean energy solutions that will save communities money and reduce carbon pollution.

Public Meeting Highlights Forest And Resilient Landscapes Monitoring Programs For April

on March 29, 2016 - 7:47am
NPS News:
JEMEZ SPRINGS — The National Park Service, Valles Caldera National Preserve and the USDA Forest Service, Santa Fe National Forest are hosting the 2016 “All Hands” public meeting for the Southwest Jemez Mountains Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration & Resilient Landscapes Program.
The meeting is 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7 and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the Jemez Rooms of the Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe. The public is invited to attend both days of meetings.
During the Thursday session, scientists from multiple institutions and agencies will

Wind Gusts Kick Up Dust At Los Alamos Airport

on March 28, 2016 - 2:38pm
With the gusty Spring winds, the construction activities at Los Alamos County Airport are kicking up thick clouds of dust. Here's a view taken today from a residence near the east end of San Ildefonso Road on North Mesa. Construction crews should consider spraying water on this site to keep the dust down. This would make things better for anyone using the hiking trail along the airport perimeter and for people living a little further east on North Mesa. Photo by Richard Hughes
Wind gusts kick up dust during construction today at the Los Alamos County Airport. Photo by Richard Hughes

WIPP Ends Safety Pause

on March 28, 2016 - 9:53am

WIPP News:

A safety pause, declared by Nuclear Waste Partnership in response to air quality issues in two remote areas of the WIPP underground, was ended and normal work in these areas has resumed.

The pause began Feb. 22 after workers detected elevated levels of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in two areas at extreme ends of the underground. The pause allowed time to thoroughly investigate each event while work in un-impacted portions of the WIPP underground continued.

We are learning from operating experience and continuing to improve our programs and processes to

Heinrich Secures $10 Mil For Directed Energy Development In New Mexico

on March 28, 2016 - 7:52am
ALBUQUERQUE  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced a $10 million investment in directed energy development in New Mexico. 
A $4.8 million award from the U.S Air Force will go to Raytheon Ktech in Albuquerque to continue the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile, also known as CHAMP, for use aboard the Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM).
Additionally, Sandia National Laboratories will receive $1.4 million and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will receive $3.8 million for

Digging A Proper Hole In Soil

on March 28, 2016 - 7:50am
SSSA News:
You’ve gone to the garden center and bought your spring plants. All you need to do is dig a hole and water, right?
Not quite so, says the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Soils Matter blog post. The post explains the benefits to your plants’ health of taking a bit more time to create the best hole.
According to soil scientist Clay Robinson, there are several factors to consider. Most important is the amount of compaction in your soil. If you dig a hole with a garden spade, and have smooth, compacted sides, all you’ve really done is create a bigger “pot” for your plant.

DOE Participates In Clean Line’s Large-Scale Energy Transmission Project

on March 27, 2016 - 8:19am
DOE News:
WASHINGTON D.C. — Building on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ongoing efforts to modernize the grid and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, today U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced that DOE will participate in the development of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project (Clean Line), a major clean energy infrastructure project.
The Clean Line project will tap abundant, low-cost wind generation resources in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle regions to deliver up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power via a 705-mile direct current transmission line — enough energy to

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Receives $1 Million

on March 26, 2016 - 5:47am

Mallard ducks in the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge's agriculture fields. Courtesy/USFWS


ALBUQUERQUE ― U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director Dan Ashe and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich have announced that Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) will receive $1 million in additional annual funding to engage urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation. 

The Refuge, located in Albuquerque’s South Valley, is only five miles from downtown and has been working extensively with partners and community members to create a shared vision for

Peaceful Demonstrations Near Trinity Site April 2

on March 26, 2016 - 5:22am
CCNS News:
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNC) has announced that the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium is organizing two peaceful demonstrations Saturday, April 2 at the entrances to the White Sands Missile Range at the Stallion Range Station and Tularosa Gate. 
The protests are to support those who have been negatively affected by exposure to radiation as a result of the July 16, 1945 Trinity Atomic Test in south central New Mexico
The White Sands Missile Range holds an open house twice a year for the public to view the site of the Trinity Test.

TALES OF OUR TIMES: What Decides How Big Is Best?

on March 25, 2016 - 9:28am

Tales of Our Times
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

What Decides How Big Is Best?

The environment, which is everything on Earth, constantly struggles to find the right size for a system. A “system” means a set of parts that must work together as conditions change. The system could be a live animal, a corporation, an agency or a jurisdiction.
Systems have been tried in a wide range of sizes.  

Nature tried dinosaurs in different sizes.

Heinrich Leads Group Of Senators Urging Congressional Leaders To Address National Parks' Maintenance Backlog

on March 25, 2016 - 8:28am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, led a group of senators in urging congressional leaders to include sufficient funding for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies appropriations bill in order to address the maintenance backlog facing our nation's National Parks.
"With a nearly $6 billion maintenance backlog attributable to the type of repair, rehabilitation and cyclic maintenance projects that receive

Prescribed Burn In Santa Fe Watershed Underway

on March 25, 2016 - 8:27am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Favorable conditions today allowed fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest to proceed with the planned prescribed burn in the lower portion of the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed.  
The 200-acre broadcast burn adjacent to the Nichols Reservoir will be done with hand and aerial ignitions. Smoke from the prescribed pile burn will be monitored to ensure that New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. 
Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete.

LANL Critical Watersheds On Exhibit At White House Water Summit

on March 24, 2016 - 4:09pm
A tree just down canyon from Richard Middleton’s house. Photo by Richard Middleton
San Juan and Colorado River basins. The San Juan River basin is host to a range of complex climate, disturbance, and energy-water challenges. The basin supplies water for multiple gas and coal-fired power plants and hydropower, vast oil and gas production, widespread irrigation, and urban areas. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Daily Post

A Los Alamos National Laboratory project was included in a White House celebration of the 23rd annual United Nations World Water Day Tuesday.

The White

KAFB Project Field Trip Registration Deadline Extended

on March 24, 2016 - 8:54am
NMED News:
The New Mexico Environment Department Spring Field Trip registration deadline has been extended to by Thursday, March 31. Register at this website.
The Field Trip is Saturday, April 23. Buses will take attendees onto Kirtland Air Force Base to see project activities including the full-scale treatment system completed in December 2015
Two Field Trip time choices: 
  • 10 a.m. to noon; or
  • 1-3 p.m.
Spring Public Meeting Tuesday, April 19
5:30-6 p.m., Poster Session**
**To include a poster presentation by Advanced Placement students at Highland High School**
6-8 p.m., Public Meeting and Q & A

High Winds And Cold Temps Leave Marks

on March 23, 2016 - 8:32pm

High winds and cold temperatures at lunchtime today begin to freeze the water feature on the patio at the Blue Window Bistro. Photo by Alan Madsen

Today's strong wind blew this 60-foot tall ponderosa pine onto a residence on 35th Street. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/

A wider view of the ponderosa pine that fell during today's high winds onto a home on 35th Street. Photo by Bart Daly

Strong wind today topples a large tree onto a car parked at a residence on 45th Street. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

LANL: Novel Water-Removal Technique Boosts Performance Of Carbon Nanomaterials

on March 23, 2016 - 8:18pm

LANL News:
  • ‘Transformational implications’ for fuel cells and batteries

New research illuminating water’s critical role in forming catalysts for oxygen reduction in materials has revealed the key to designing next-generation carbon nanomaterials with enhanced performance for fuel cells and batteries.

“The implications of understanding water’s role in achieving high-performance layered materials for energy generation and storage devices will be transformational,” said Gautam Gupta of the Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

PEEC: Mysteries Of The Unseen World March 26-27

on March 23, 2016 - 3:10pm
The great film Mysteries of the Unseen World will be playing 2-2:45 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27 in the planetarium at the Nature Center. For more information, click here. Courtesy/PEEC

Heinrich, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Announce $1 Million Annually For Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

on March 23, 2016 - 8:09am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich with members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Tuesday at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Courtesy photo 

From The Office Of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced Tuesday that the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge will receive $1 million in additional annual funding to engage urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation.

The Refuge, located in Albuquerque's South

Prescribed Burn Planned On Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District

on March 22, 2016 - 6:35am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are working with communities in the Jemez Ranger District to conduct the bi-annual Thompson Ridge slash-pit prescribed burn. 
The slash pit, 10 miles north of Jemez Springs, is a collaborative effort between the Jemez Ranger District and the surrounding area to promote fire-adapted communities in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). 
WUI refers to the transition zone between natural areas and human development.

Prescribed Burn Planned On Santa Fe National Forest Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

on March 22, 2016 - 6:11am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to begin the previously announced prescribed burn in Gallinas Canyon and Las Dispensas area on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District Wednesday, March 23, if conditions are favorable. 
Once ignitions have started, they are expected to last up to seven days.
Fire managers would like to complete the Gallinas Canyon burn by Thursday, March 31, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources. 
The 1,000-acre

How The Hen House Turns—The Eyes Have It

on March 22, 2016 - 5:56am
How The Hen House Turns
By Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.
The Eyes Have It

As a biology student, I was enthralled with the amazing diversity of tiny critters that swam energetically in a drop of water under the microscope. After studying embryology, I was even more amazed that any of us were ever born halfway normal. But comparative Anatomy in the Zoology Department at college topped them all. The variety of eyes that have evolved on this planet is amazing.

It's not just the eyes' variety of color and design, as pictured in a recent issue of National Geographic.

White House To Host Water Summit ... Los Alamos Watershed Research Among Featured Projects

on March 21, 2016 - 6:38pm

LANL News:

On Tuesday, March 22—World Water Day—the Administration will host a White House Water Summit to raise awareness of the national importance of water and to highlight new commitments and announcements that the Administration and non-Federal institutions are making to build a sustainable water future.

A project from Los Alamos National Laboratory will be among the research areas featured.

Safe, sufficient, and reliable water resources are essential to the functioning of every aspect and sector of U.S.

NMED Calls On EPA To Reimburse $1.5 Million For Emergency Response To Gold King Mine Spill

on March 21, 2016 - 6:29pm
NMED News:
SANTA FE  On Friday March 11 the New Mexico Environment Department called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reimburse $1,505,155 for short-term emergency response activities associated with the Gold King Mine spill.  
On Aug. 5 an EPA work crew triggered the Gold King blowout near Silverton, CO that released three million gallons of contaminated water into a creek that flowed into the Animas, then San Juan Rivers.