Amigos Bravos has been calling for cleanup of water contamination at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) since 2003. Today, much of our LANL work is done with our partners, Communities for Clean Water. (CCW) Amigos Bravos serves as a backbone organization for Communities for Clean Water (CCW), a coalition of organizations including Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE), the New Mexico Acequia Association, Partnership for Earth Spirituality, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety and Tewa Women United. CCW’s mission is to ensure that community waters impacted by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) are kept safe for drinking, agriculture, sacred ceremonies, and a sustainable future.
Amigos Bravos has been working with our CCW for years to hold Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) accountable for historic and ongoing discharges of toxic pollutants into the waters of the Parjarito Plateau and Upper Rio Grande. Currently, this work is focused on advocating for a strong regulatory oversight of stormwater discharges from over 400 toxic industrial sites at LANL as well as from urban stormwater sources from LANL and Los Alamos County. This work entails engaging in technical meetings and preparing technical comments on draft permits and ensuring regulatory compliance with existing regulations.
In December of 2019, after years of advocacy from Amigos Bravos, the Environmental Protection Agency made a final determination that urban stormwater discharges on the Pajarito Plateau needed to be regulated and controlled. We are currently involved in defending this determination against efforts from Los Alamos County to reverse this decision and avoid requirements to clean up their discharges.
The voice of Amigos Bravos during these technical proceedings is strengthened by our collaborative work with Communities for Clean Water to create a space for community voices and traditional knowledge in technical settings and negotiations. We continue to hold monthly meetings with our partners, submit technical comments on water permits, and present materials at various community events to advocate for strong permitting decisions and close out and closure activities.