September 30, 2009

Key Spending Bill Strongly Supports N.M. Labs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reported that a House-Senate panel has finalized a spending bill that supports New Mexico’s two national laboratories, and a variety of key water-related projects.

The 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill is now ready for final passage through the Senate and House of Representatives.

The measure contains $20 million for upgrades to the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) – the only machine in the country that can do a series of diagnostic tests to ensure our nuclear stockpile is safe and secure. The White House had recommended zeroing out funding for these necessary upgrades. But the New Mexico senators fought for the funding, arguing that the one-of-a-kind facility was too important to shut down.

“Overall, this is a very good bill for New Mexico’s two national laboratories. But I am especially pleased that we were able to save LANSCE by securing $20 million to upgrade this important facility,” Bingaman said.

“The conference legislation the House and Senate will now vote on, and send to the President, recognizes the critical role the LANSCE facility at LANL plays in preserving our national security and providing solid scientific research,” said Udall. “Senator Bingaman and I were determined in our fight for this funding so that our nation will continue to benefit from LANSCE’s dual-use capabilities.”

The bill also contains $6.38 billion in stockpile stewardship for the National Nuclear Security Administration, much of which will be directed to Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories.

OTHER LAB RELATED FUNDING

LOS ALAMOS

· $196 million for environmental cleanup

· $97 million for Chemistry and Metallurgy Facility Replacement Project

· $10 million for radiological facilities to conduct nuclear energy research

SANDIA

· Inertial confinement fusion ignition: $458 million, including $16.5 million above the request for operation of the Z-Machine and the Omega facility, returning them to FY09 funding levels

MISC.

· $750,000 Microgrid research initiative at New Mexico State University

· $1.75 million Navajo electrification 

· $750, 000 for the Center of Excellence and Hazardous Waste Materials at Carlsbad for advance biofuels research

WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PROJECT

· $230.34 million for WIPP

WATER FUNDING (List is incomplete)

Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System - $1 million for design and construction of intake structure at Ute Reservoir for the Ute pipeline project.

Jicarilla Apache Rural Water Project - $3.0 million to continue to repair and replace the drinking water delivery and wastewater system on the Jicarilla Reservation.

Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project - $3 million for planning, design, and construction of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, including the Cutter Lateral Regional System and the Gallup Regional System. Associated with operation of Conchas Dam and Reservoir northwest of Tucumcari.

Corps of Engineers

Acequias Irrigation System - $2.4 million to continue construction and rehabilitation work for acequias throughout the State.

Alamogordo - $2.9 million to construct and repair diversion channels and prevent flood damage.