Thursday, December 16, 2010
UPDATED: blurry cellphone photos of Santa Fe winter and radionuclides in the water
Last night my roommate and I made holiday goody bags for 7 of our neighbors complete with 3 different types of baked treats and one homemade ornament each. We're going to give them to our neighbors tonight, and if the experience is interesting, I might update this post with details.
Today Santa Fe experienced the first real snow of the year, and it is steadily coming down. Apparently mercury is also in retrograde.
This afternoon I am attending a public meeting on the Buckman Direct Diversion Project (BDD)-- a project that in less than three weeks will divert water to Santa Fe's watershed from a point at the Rio Grande that is three miles south of Los Alamos National Lab and Los Alamos Canyon. Los Alamos Canyon is contaminated with radionuclides like plutonium, uranium, and americium, and it occasionally floods into that point of the Rio Grande. The independent peer review (IPR) of the water quality was performed by ChemRisk, a company that is headed by a man who was employed by PG&E during the famous Erin Brockovitch case to produce scientific reports that concluded that there was no correlation between the presence of chromium-6 in drinking water and elevated cancer rates.
The the BDD IPR did not actually test the water at the diversion point-- they instead referred to data collected by LANL and the Department of Energy over the last decade. No data on contamination from storm water was acquired or used in the IPR.
This article was published yesterday, and lays out some of the controversy and concerns relating to the BDD pretty effectively:
While my friends and I were making cookies last night, we read the article, and subsequently wrote to Erin Brockovitch. One friend concluded that she needs to move out of Santa Fe, because of the issues surrounding water shortages and contamination here.
Two not usually civically active friends and I braved the first real snowstorm this Winter to attend the BDD meeting only to find....
It's been hard to figure what date the meeting has been rescheduled for. Will it happen before the diverted water reaches our taps? Will they delay the flow of water to Santa Fe, because of citizen concerns? I really doubt it. The BDD is the most expensive non-federal infrastructure project the county has ever undertaken, and Santa Fe is developed far beyond the capacity of its local aquifers.
So... How about some more holiday pictures from Santa Fe....
this guy was riding his bike on Friday morning through the snow.
This is our Christmas tree.
this is the Plaza at wintertime: