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CCNS Appeals EPA Denial To Terminate LANL Outfall From Clean Water Act Permit

on October 7, 2017 - 3:18am
CCNS News:
 
Outfall No. 051 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a discharge pipe connected to a key facility, the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility. The Clean Water Act only regulates facilities that actually discharge pollutants. 
 
After November 2010, the Facility became a zero-liquid-discharge system, meaning the discharge pipe would no longer be used. Since then LANL has been using a Mechanical Evaporator System to evaporate treated water into the air, and nothing has been discharged through the Outfall. Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still includes Outfall 051 in the permit that it issues to LANL.
 
This has a serious impact. The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility manages a lot of hazardous waste, and the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act would normally regulate it with prescribed public review and comment. But, under an EPA rule, called the Wastewater Treatment Unit exemption, if LANL is regulated under a Clean Water Act permit, Outfall 051 and the Facility are exempt from the Hazardous Waste Act.
 

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