N.M. senators: Bill that funds labs, water projects signed into law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today reported that President Obama has signed into law 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.

“When we started this process several months ago, LANL was facing deep cuts to a key research center. The measure that has been signed into law not only prevents those cuts it provides strong support to the range of R&D initiatives performed at both laboratories, as well as the operation of WIPP,” Bingaman said. “New Mexico fared very well in this important piece of legislation.”

“Saving the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center at LANL has been a top priority, and today’s signing by the president means LANSCE will continue to play a critical role in preserving our national security and providing solid scientific research,” Udall said.

The 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill 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.

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

“This law funds water projects large and small — from the Navajo-Gallup pipeline to acequia rehabilitation,” Bingaman said. “In an arid state like ours where every drop of water counts, these investments are extremely important.”

This new law will allow us to make 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,” Udall said.

WATER FUNDING

• 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 R