July 30, 2009

Senate Approves Key Spending Bill that Contains Funding for N.M. Labs, Water Projects

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reported that the Senate has approved legislation that provides funding for New Mexico’s two national laboratories, and to a variety of key water-related projects.

The Senate’s version of the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill cleared the Senate Wednesday night. A House-Senate panel will convene in the coming weeks to finalize the bill.

The measure contains $30 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 have been weighing in with both the Obama administration and Senate appropriators writing the Energy and Water spending bill, and are pleased that they are winning support for the facility.

“This bill provides strong support to our labs. I’m particularly glad we were able to secure $30 million needed to upgrade LANSCE,” Bingaman said. “The bill also funds significant water projects in our state. We will be working hard in the coming weeks to ensure New Mexico’s needs are met in the final bill.”

“I am pleased that, in addition to funding critical water infrastructure projects for New Mexico, funding for LANSCE was included in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill. This recognizes the facility’s importance not only to our security but also to scientific research,” said Udall. “Senat or Bingaman and I have been working to ensure that our nation will continue to benefit from the dual-use capabilities of LANSCE and with each step in this process we have moved closer to achieving that goal.”

The bill also contains $6.47 billion for National Nuclear Security Administration, which funds the stockpile stewardship program performed by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories.

OTHER LAB RELATED FUNDING

LOS ALAMOS

$204 million for environmental cleanup, up $15 million above the President’s request to help meet New Mexico consent order milestones

$98 million for Chemistry and Metallurgy Facility Replacement Project, up $43 million over President’s budget request 

WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PROJECT

$234.3 million for WIPP. The additional funding will upgrade and replace safety systems at WIPP.

MISC.

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

$750,000 for technology transfer and commercialization at Department of Energy laboratories performed by the Technology Ventures Corporation in Albuquerque

WATER FUNDING

Animas-La Plata Project - $54,188,000 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.

Chimayo Mutual Domestic Water Association - $500,000 to construct storage tanks, develop additional groundwater supplies, and extend water lines for the regional water system.

Eastern New Mexico Investigations Program - $50,000 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 - $500,000 for design and construction of intake structure at Ute Reservoir for the Ute pipeline project.

Jicarilla Apache Rural Water Project - $5.0 million to continue to repair and replace the drinking water delivery and wastewater system on the Jicarilla Reservation.

Middle Rio Grande Project - $23,910,000 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 - $7.8 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 - $200,000 to support water supply planning efforts within the Navajo Nation in cooperation with other agencies.

Pecos River Basin Water Salvage Project - $209,000 for continued removal of invasive plants and for an analysis of the effects of such removal.

Rio Grande Project - $4,999,000 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 - $150,000 to analyze water supply options for irrigation and municipal uses in the Las Cruces, El Paso and Juarez areas.

Tucumcari Project - $41,000 for expenses associated with operation of Conchas Dam and Reservoir northwest of Tucumcari.

Upper Colorado River Operations Program - $250,000 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 - $75,000 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 - $3,305,000 – for continued management activities at Abiquiu Dam and Reservoir.

Acequias Irrigation System - $500,000 to continue construction and rehabilitation work for acequias throughout the State.

Alamogordo - $4,200,000 to construct and repair diversion channels and prevent flood damage.

Cochiti Lake - $6,876,000 for continued management activities at Cochiti Lake.

Conchas Lake - $1,796,000 for continued management activities at Conchas Lake.

Grants Drainage Management Plan - $56,000 to evaluate drainage options.

Galisteo Dam - $591,000 to operate and maintain Galisteo Dam.

Jemez Canyon Dam - $756,000 to operate and maintain Jemez Canyon Dam.

Middle Rio Grande Flood Protection, Bernalillo to Belen - $800,000 to repair and replace existing levees and create wetlands.

Rio Grande Basin, NM, CO & TX – $120,000 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 - $800,000 for maintenance and restoration of the Rio Grande floodway.

Santa Fe - $228,000 to conduct a watershed study to analyze flood damage potential and ecosystem restoration potential for the Santa Fe area.

Santa Rosa Dam and Lake - $1,099,000 for operation and maintenance of Santa Rosa Dam and Lake.

Southwest Valley Albuquerque - $4.0 million to repair drains and prevent flooding in the South Valley of Albuquerque.

Two Rivers Dam - $404,000 for repairs and maintenance of the Two Rivers Dam in the Roswell area.

Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model Study - $4,188,000 to continue work developing and utilizing the model to assist with Rio Grande operations.