Sept. 27, 2016
Home / Articles / News / Local News /  Paper Tiger

Paper Tiger

In Brief

April 14, 2010, 12:00 am
Joni Arends’ files would probably fill a couple of the radioactive waste pits that have headlined the New Mexico Environment Department’s two-week public hearing on a proposed 10-year hazardous waste permit for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Arends says the opportunity for public involvement is unprecedented, and the permit, which has implications for groundwater monitoring, open-air burning of hazardous waste and nuclear waste storage, is also far-reaching.

From the end of a long table facing LANL scientists and NMED officials, bordered on one side by a glum-looking Pete Domenici Jr., Arends flips through a colossal binder before posing detailed questions often preceded by a long pause—partly because she’s playing a merciless game of catch-up.

“There’s an issue of fairness in all this,” Arends tells SFR. “Two hundred and twenty-one documents were just released to us in January.”

Activists requested those public documents from the NMED more than three years and one lawsuit ago.

“I’ve been sleeping about four hours a night,” Arends says. “This is 12 years of work coming to culmination in this room.”

In Santa Fe, hearings continue this week. For more on them and New Mexico’s nuclear future, see


comments powered by Disqus

Morning Word: Death Penalty Reinstatement Would Cost State Millions

Morning Word At the same time New Mexico lawmakers are trying to shore up the state’s budget, the New Mexico Public Defender's Office is questioning the costs associated with reinstating the death penalty.  ... More

Sept. 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr


* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):
August 31, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm  
September 7, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
August 31, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
September 14, 2016 by Steven Hsieh  

@SFReporter on Instagram