October 15, 2009

N.M. Senators: Key Spending Bill Strongly Supports N.M. Labs, WIPP & Water Projects


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall voted to give final passage (80-17) to a key spending bill that supports New Mexico’s two national laboratories, the Waste Isolation Pilot Project and a variety of key water-related projects.

The 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill is now ready to be sent to the White House for signature.

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 still needed.

“I’m very glad we were successful in our efforts to prove that LANSCE is too important to the country to shut it down. With this funding, LANL can continue to use LANSCE to perform a key component of its stockpile stewardship mission,” Bingaman said. “In general, this bill does a very good job funding our national laboratories, WIPP and key water initiatives in our state.”

“We faced an uphill battle to save the LANSCE facility at LANL, but I am proud to say that when the president signs this bill, we will have done just that,” said Udall. “With this legislation, we have made sure Congress recognizes the critical role LANSCE plays in preserving our national security and providing solid scientific research. In addition, we are making significant investments at WIPP in Carlsbad to make sure we have a safe facility, more needed environmental cleanup and job security for employees working there.”

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.



  • $196 million for environmental cleanup
  • $97 million for Chemistry and Metallurgy Facility Replacement Project
  • $10 million for radiological facilities to conduct nuclear energy research


  • 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


  • $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


  • $230.34 million for WIPP


  • Albuquerque Title XVI Reuse Project - $250,000 for continued support of the City’s water reuse and recycling project.
  • Animas-La Plata Project - $49,608,000 to continue progress on the project components that benefit New Mexico, including the Navajo Nation.
  • Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program – $160,000 for continued data collection relating to ecological health in the Middle Río Grande.
  • Carlsbad Project - $3,541,000 – for continued operation of the Carlsbad irrigation project in the Pecos River Basin.
  • Chimayo Mutual Domestic Water Association - $233,000 to construct storage tanks, develop additional groundwater supplies, and extend water lines for the regional water system.
  • Eastern New Mexico Investigations Program - $47,000 for planning associated with improved water management in the Pecos and Canadian River basins in Colfax, Mora, Harding, San Miguel, Quay, Guadalupe and DeBaca counties.
  • 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 million to continue to repair and replace the drinking water delivery and wastewater system on the Jicarilla Reservation.
  • Middle Rio Grande Project - $22,684,000 to continue work on project operations relating to water delivery and continued participation in the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program.
  • 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.
  • Navajo Nation Investigations Program - $190,000 to support water supply planning efforts within the Navajo Nation in cooperation with other agencies.
  • Pecos River Basin Water Salvage Project - $201,000 for continued removal of invasive plants and for an analysis of the effects of such removal.
  • Rio Grande Project - $4,791,000 for the ongoing operations of the Rio Grande Project which benefits the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in New Mexico.
  • Southern New Mexico/West Texas Inv. Program - $142,000 to analyze water supply options for irrigation and municipal uses in the Las Cruces, El Paso and Juarez areas.
  • Tucumcari Project - $39,000 for expenses associated with operation of Conchas Dam and Reservoir northwest of Tucumcari.
  • Upper Colorado River Operations Program - $237,000 to support the ongoing activities relating to management of the Colorado River system which benefits the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and the San Juan – Chama Project which serves water users such as the City of Albuquerque and Santa Fe and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.
  • Upper Rio Grande Basin Investigations - $71,000 to support investigations involving the Rio Grande water supplies in coordination with the States of Colorado and New Mexico and other water users.

Corps of Engineers

  • Abiquiu Dam - $3,141,000 for continued management activities at Abiquiu Dam and Reservoir.
  • 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.
  • Cochiti Lake - $6.5 million for continued management activities at Cochiti Lake.
  • Conchas Lake - $1.7 million for continued management activities at Conchas Lake.
  • Espanola Valley Investigations - $224,000 to evaluate water supply options.
  • Galisteo Dam - $562,000 to operate and maintain Galisteo Dam.
  • Jemez Canyon Dam - $718,000 to operate and maintain Jemez Canyon Dam.
  • Middle Rio Grande ESA Collaborative Program - $2,994 for continued compliance with the Biological Opinion and participation in the collaborative program.
  • Middle Rio Grande Flood Protection, Bernalillo to Belen - $756,000 to repair and replace existing levees and create wetlands.
  • Rio Grande Basin, NM, CO & TX - $103,000 to improve water conveyance efficiencies and address ecosystem degradation and flooding throughout the Rio Grande Basin which includes over 160,000 square miles from Colorado, through New Mexico to Texas.
  • Rio Grande Floodway, San Acacia To Bosque Del Apache - $754,000 for maintenance and restoration of the Rio Grande floodway.
  • Santa Fe - $134,000 to conduct a watershed study to analyze flood damage potential and ecosystem restoration potential for the Santa Fe area.
  • Santa Rosa Dam and Lake - $1.044 million for operation and maintenance of Santa Rosa Dam and Lake.
  • Southwest Valley Albuquerque - $2.810 million to repair drains and prevent flooding in the South Valley of Albuquerque.
  • Two Rivers Dam - $384,000 for repairs and maintenance of the Two Rivers Dam in the Roswell area.
  • Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model Study - $2.05 million to continue work developing and utilizing the model to assist with Rio Grande operations.