DOE To Spend Millions On LANL Stormwater Controls

May 15, 2015

Credit Andy Magee via Flickr

Some of the money from the Department of Energy’s settlement with New Mexico following a radiation leak at a nuclear waste storage facility last year will go to address stormwater issues at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Nearly $10 million dollars will go to build small dam-like structures on tributaries flowing out of LANL that will control rainwater during storms and make measuring contaminants in the water easier. Allison Majure of the New Mexico Environment Department says stormwater in Los Alamos has become a serious problem after wildfires scorched the area over the last few years.

"These additional engineering structures and additional sampling and monitoring will provide stronger data for exactly where the flows are the strongest, and where the sediment is the strongest, and can be prevented from moving around during monsoon season," Majure said.

There have been ongoing issues with contaminated water flowing from the labs towards the Rio Grande, and engineers hope the new stormwater infrastructure will catch that pollution before it gets to the river.