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Groundwater Discharge Permit Proposed for Approval


Public Comment Period Open Until March 11, 2020

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Ground Water Quality Bureau (GWQB) provides notice that the following Groundwater Discharge Permit has been proposed for approval: Louisiana Energy Service, LLC dba URENCO USA proposes to renew and modify the Discharge Permit (DP-1481) for the discharge of up to 19,717,000 gallons per day of industrial wastewater and stormwater to an impoundment and disposal system. The modification consists of a change in location for the discharge of cooling tower related water to the unlined impoundment (pond).

Applicant: Louisiana Energy Service, LLC dba URENCO USA, Mr. Jesse Miller, Chemistry Manager, PO Box 1789, Eunice, NM 88231.

Facility Description: The facility enriches uranium and stores depleted uranium hexafluoride in uranium byproduct cylinders on a concrete pad. Discharges addressed by this permit are not directly associated with the uranium enrichment process.

Discharge Locations: Discharge locations include one unlined impoundment and two synthetically lined impoundments located on the facility grounds.

Activities that Produce the Discharge: Activities that produce the discharge include stormwater collected from the uranium byproduct cylinder storage pad, floor drains from five warehouses and support buildings, sump water from four support and utility buildings, heavy equipment wash water from the storage pad, HVAC condensate from the uranium byproduct cylinder loading stations, and laboratory equipment wash water is discharged to the synthetically lined impoundments. Stormwater from the facility grounds, parking lots, rooftops and cooling tower backwash and blowdown water is discharged to the unlined impoundment.

Facility Location: The facility entrance is located at 275 NM-176, 0.64 miles west of the Texas/New Mexico border and 2.84 miles east of the intersection of Andrews Highway (NM-176/NM-284) and South Eunice Highway (NM-18). The facility occupies approximately 543 acres in Section 32, T21S, R38E, in Lea County.

Potential Contaminants: Potential contaminants from this type of discharge include nitrogen compounds, organic compounds, dissolved solids, chloride, metals, and uranium.

Groundwater Most Likely to be Affected by the Discharge: Groundwater most likely to be affected is at a depth of approximately 90 to 240 feet and had a pre-discharge total dissolved solids concentration of 3,370 to 11,600 milligrams per liter.

How to obtain more information: To learn more about this Discharge Permit and the permitting process or to obtain a copy of the draft permit, the permit summary, or Public Involvement Plan, contact the NMED Permit Contact, Mr. Jason Herman by phone at (505) 827-2713 or email at Jason.Herman@state.nm.us. NMED maintains a facility-specific mailing list for persons wishing to receive notices for permitting actions associated with this facility. Additionally, NMED maintains a facility specific Public Involvement Plan (PIP) for each permitting action to plan for providing public participation opportunities and information that may be needed for the community to participate in a permitting process.

Access documents online:

Click this link to view the public notice.

Click this link to view the permit summary.

Click this link to view the draft permit.

Click this link to view the Public Involvement Plan.

How to submit a comment or request a hearing: Comments or a request for hearing regarding a draft permit should be addressed to the GWQB, PO Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502-5469, or emailed to the NMED Permit contact, Jason Herman, at Jason.Herman@state.nm.us. Requests for public hearing shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons why a hearing should be held. NMED previously provided notice and allowed for 30 days of comment period and will hereby allow an additional 60 days after the date of publication of this notice for submittal of additional written comments and/or a request for a public hearing for the permitting action. All previously submitted comments will remain valid for inclusion in the Administrative Record and do not need to be resubmitted.

A hearing will be held if the NMED Cabinet Secretary determines that there is substantial public interest. If a hearing is held, a hearing officer will be appointed by the NMED Cabinet Secretary and will be held in the locally affected community. During the hearing process, members of the public may file technical testimony prior to the hearing and may provide verbal and written comments during the hearing itself. Once the hearing is complete, the hearing officer will provide the NMED Cabinet Secretary with a hearing report that includes a suggested determination. The NMED Cabinet Secretary will then issue a Final Order which will complete the Administrative Record for the permitting action. After the Administrative Record for a permitting action is complete and all required information is available, NMED will approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the Permit based on the Administrative Record and/or Final Order from the NMED Cabinet Secretary.

How to request accommodations: If you are a non-English speaker, do not speak English well, or if you have a disability, you may contact Jason Herman by phone at (505) 827-2713 or email at Jason.Herman@state.nm.us to request assistance, translation services, an interpreter, or an auxiliary aid in order to learn more about a Discharge Permit or the permitting process, or to participate in activities associated with the permitting process. Requested translation, interpretation services, and accommodations or services for persons with disabilities will be arranged to the extent possible. Telephone conversation assistance is available through Relay New Mexico at no charge for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking on the phone, by calling 1-800-659-1779; TTY users: 1-800-659-8331; Spanish: 1-800-327-1857. Telephone interpretation assistance for persons that are a non-English speaker or do not speak English well is available at no charge when calling NMED.

NMED does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex in the administration of its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. NMED is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. If you have any questions about this notice or any of NMED’s non- discrimination programs, policies or procedures, you may contact: Kristine Yurdin, Non-Discrimination Coordinator, New Mexico Environment Department, 1190 St. Francis Dr., Suite N4050, P.O. Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502, (505) 827-2855, nd.coordinator@state.nm.us. If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a NMED program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified above or visit our website at /non-employee-discrimination-complaint-page/ to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination.

Contact us

Phone Number: 505-827-2900
E: gwqb.general@state.nm.us

A list of Bureau staff contacts is available here.

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