KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Mexico Ready To Begin Infrastructure Improvement At Los Alamos National Lab

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez discusses infrastructure improvements at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Courtesy of New Mexico Environment Department
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez discusses infrastructure improvements at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

New Mexico's governor Susana Martinez announced on Monday that the state is ready to launch multiple infrastructure projects with funds from a $74 million dollar settlement with the Department of Energy.

In January, New Mexico finalized the largest settlement ever between a state and the DOE over a radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad. The DOE was liable for a storage container that burst at WIPP two years ago. WIPP is an underground repository for transuranic waste leftover from the U.S. defense research, the kind generated during the development of the atomic bomb.

Governor Martinez said state and federal agencies are now ready to spend the settlement money on infrastructure projects, including upgrading roads near Los Alamos National Lab used to transport waste to WIPP.

Other projects include replacing old water pipes and improving storm water collection and water quality monitoring near the lab. A spokeswoman with the state environment department said they hope to start construction in the fall.

The money will also fund an emergency operations center near WIPP, which has been closed since the radiation leak. The target date for WIPP's reopening is this December.