DEAR FRIENDS OF NM'S WATERS ~
Thank you for your support of Amigos Bravos and the waters of New Mexico! Please remember to purchase Raffle for the Rio! tickets for yourself and your friends. The drawing date is June 26 and the lucky winner will get to choose between airfare and lodging for 2 in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru (near Macchu Picchu); OR a beautiful acre of land in northern New Mexico; OR $3,000 cash. Your choice! Tickets are $25, or to increase your chances, purchase 5 tickets for $100. To purchase your tickets, scroll all the way down and click on "click here" under "donate now." Or, attend the May "Water Matters" lecture and purchase tickets there. For info on the lecture, scroll down.
This month's E-Currents begins with encouraging news, followed by an announcement of the very exciting "Water Matters" lecture planned for May 20th in Santa Fe, and ends with information about pollution down-gradient from LANL and the Los Alamos townsite and what Amigos Bravos is doing to address that issue.
Happy Spring !
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"Momentum for climate solutions is well and truly with us. In the United States, a solar system is installed
every four minutes. In the past five years, electricity generated by wind in our country has more than
tripled. And in the last six months combined, more than 80 percent of the new electricity capacity added to the U.S. grid was renewable energy."
The Climate Reality Project
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Santa Fe River
"WATER MATTERS" LECTURE:
BENEATH THE RIVER OF SHOOTING STARS: A TALE OF SPEED, OBSESSION, AND GRACE IN THE GRAND CANYON,
WITH AUTHOR KEVIN FEDARKO
On the evening of Tuesday, May 20th, at 5:30pm, at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the Amigos Bravos "Water Matters" Lecture will feature award-winning author, Kevin Fedarko.
Fedarko's work for Outside Magazine has taken him to some of the world's most dramatic places, from Kashmir's Siachen Glacier to Everest Base Camp and from Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the Horn of Africa. His deepest connection, however, is to the Colorado river where he spent six years researching and writing The Emerald Mile, winner of a National Outdoor Book Award, top pick of Southwest Books of the Year, and listed as one of the Ten Best Adventure Books of 2013. His presentation of the most ferocious flood in the modern history of the canyon - a surge that threatened to take out the Glen Canyon Dam while serving as a hydraulic catapult for a trio of intrepid oarsmen and a tiny wooden dory - opens a window into the remarkable and hidden world at the bottom of perhaps the most iconic and beloved landscape feature in North America.
Fedarko divides his time between Santa Fe and Flagstaff and works as a part-time whitewater guide in the Grand Canyon. In addition to
Outside, his writing has appeared in Esquire and has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Fedarko studied political science at Columbia and Russian history at Oxford before joining the staff at Time where he worked on the foreign affairs desk.
The Santa Fe Community Foundation is located between Old Santa Fe Trail and Acequia Madre, at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Halona. For more information, call 575-758-3874.
SURFACE WATER RUN-OFF POLLUTION DOWN-GRADIENT FROM LANL AND THE LOS ALAMOS TOWNSITE
(This information was gathered from reports provided by the New Mexico Environment Department and Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Amigos Bravos is proud of the role we have played in successfully settling a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Los Alamos National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy for 65 years of toxic radiative discharges that threaten the Rio Grande, the health and cultural practices of nearby Pueblo Nations, and the drinking supply of Santa Fe (the settlement mandates cleanup of over 400 dumpsites by 2016). However, our work to make the water safe down-gradient of LANL and Los Alamos is far from over.
Los Alamos County and the 36 mile square Lab continue to have serious storm water pollution problems. The regulatory process, which we participated in and continue to monitor, is set up for targeting specific point-source sites (an example of "point-source" would be the end of a drain pipe). Dispersed background toxic run-off pollution is another matter.
The Los Alamos townsite and urbanized areas of LANL sit on the Parajito Plateau. The Plateau consists of a series of finger-like mesas separated by deep east-to-west oriented canyons cut by streams. Most Lab and community developments
are confined to those mesa tops and include parking lots and roads that facilitate intensified storm water runoff. LANL property contains all, or parts of, seven primary watersheds that drain through five canyons and directly into the Rio Grande. Water quality impairment down-gradient from the Parajito Plateau is firmly linked to storm water runoff from urban areas.
White Rock Canyon, below LANL
LANL conducted two detailed studies of storm water runoff from the Parajito Plateau. One study focused on PCB contamination and the second study focused on metals contamination. In these studies, LANL collected samples from non-urban, non-laboratory-influenced reference sites, as well as from sites representing runoff from urbanized areas of Los Alamos townsite. (Neither the reference nor the urban sites were influenced by point source discharges from LANL's individual storm water permit.) These studies show a significant contribution of both PCBs and metal from urban runoff on the Parajito Plateau.
The LANL PCB study found 40 of the 41 Los Alamos urban storm water samples were above the New Mexico human health water quality criteria for PCBs and 19 of the 41 Los Alamos urban water samples were above the New Mexico wildlife habitat water quality criteria for PCBs. The LANL report concluded that suspended PCBs carried by urban runoff from the Los Alamos townsite were 10 to 200 times more enriched by PCBs than at non-urban-influenced Parajito Plateau sites.
In 2007, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) collected storm water samples containing PCBs as high as 255 times the state's PCB human health water quality criteria. NMED sampling data in 2007 and 2006 show levels of PCBs in storm water draining off of urban areas in Los Alamos townsite to be more than 34,000 times greater than the NM Human Health water quality criteria. NMED's more recent 303d/305b Report documents many more exceedances of standards - for a variety of pollutants and locations - and identifies industrial/commercial site storm water discharge and post-development erosion and sedimentation (storm water runoff from construction sites and urbanized features) as major causes. LANLs own documents confirm these findings and identify urban runoff as the culprit.
Given this information, Amigos Bravos is assessing options and will be discussing those options with EPA, in order to further address and control stormwater runoff pollution to the Rio Grande.
Amigos Bravos Projects Director,
AMIGOS BRAVOS IS CELEBRATING
26 YEARS OF PROTECTING & RESTORING NEW MEXICO'S WATERS
Please celebrate with us and help to make sure Amigos Bravos remains strong for the
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT OF AMIGOS BRAVOS AND NEW MEXICO'S RIVERS & WATERWAYS!!!