Please add Stop Forever WIPP logo.


May 5, 2021

Contact:       Joni Arends: 505-986-1973, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                    Don Hancock: 505-262-1862, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public Service Announcement

DOE Proposes WIPP Expansion

Virtual NMED Public Hearing - Monday, May 17th to Friday, May 21st

Instructions about How to Watch and Participatein English and Spanish below

The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking to expand the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  It has applied for a permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to dig a new shaft to expand WIPP to more than twice its current volume.

The DOE’s agreements with New Mexico were to stop taking waste in 2024, only take plutonium contaminated items, and locate repositories in other states so New Mexico would not bear the whole burden of disposing the nation’s nuclear weapons’ waste.

Instead, this new mission would continue sending waste to WIPP until 2080 and beyond and accept unauthorized concentrated plutonium, including 48 tonnes of plutonium from decommissioned weapons.  DOE has not located repositories in other states, although all 50 states have benefitted from the nation’s nuclear arsenal.  New Mexico did not agree to be the sole U.S. nuclear weapons’ waste repository for the nation.

DOE’s new mission to expand WIPP would ship concentrated plutonium 3,300 miles, back and forth across at least 7 states for many decades, putting thousands of communities at risk if an accident occurs. 


The Stop Forever WIPP Coalition is asking NMED to deny the permit.

Newsletters with more details can be found at our website and the public may participate with comments in the May 17th public hearing.


More information can be found at:, and


How You Can Watch and Participate in the Public Hearing:



The virtual public hearing will begin Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM MDT. The Hearing will run during the following hours, on this day and on subsequent days, until complete, unless otherwise ordered by the Hearing Officer: 


12:00 – 4:00 PM and 6:00 – 9:00 PM MDT DAILY.


The hearing will afford an opportunity for all persons to present comments. 


The public hearing will be conducted remotely using Zoom and telephone.  The Zoom hearing may be joined through the following meeting link:



Phone one-tap:













US:+16699006833or+12532158782or+1346 2487799or+19294362866or








Any person having a disability and requiring assistance or auxiliary aid to participate in this processshouldcontactSuzettePorter,NMEDAmericanswithDisabilitiesAct(ADA)Coordinator,byphoneat

(505)827-2109,orviaemailat:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Toll-free numbers are available for TDD or TDY users to access the New Mexico Relay Network at 1-800-659-1779(voice);TTY users:1-800-659-8331.



Any person needing language services (e.g., an interpreter at a public meeting or hearing, documenttranslation)shouldcontactRicardoMaestasat(505)476-6000orbye-mailat:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Please note that Spanish interpretation services will be provided during this proceeding. The Zoomplatform provides an option to listen to, ask questions, and provide comments at the public hearing inSpanish.ThefollowingareinstructionsforlisteningtolanguageinterpretationontheZoomplatform:



  1. Inyourmeeting/webinarcontrols,click Interpretation.
  2. (Optional)Toheartheinterpretedlanguageonly,clickMuteOriginalAudio.



  1. Inyourmeetingcontrols,taptheellipsesicon(...).
  2. Tapthelanguageyouwouldliketo hear.
  3. (Optional)TapthetoggletoMuteOriginalAudio.


Inaddition,NMEDisprovidingacall-inconferencelineforpersonswithouttheabilityto accessZoom:SpanishCall-InConference Line: 800-747-5150




If internet access will be an issue for any person wanting to participate, please contact Ricardo Maestasat (505) 476-6000 or by e-mail at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for information on area hot spots andlocationswithfree WiFiaccess.









Laaudiencia públicavirtualcomenzaráellunes,17demayode2021alas12:00p.m.,MDT.

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DIARIAMENTEde12:00a 4:00p.m.yde6:00a9:00p.m.,MDT.


Laaudienciapúblicaproporcionaráalaspersonasinteresadasunaoportunidadrazonableparapresentar datos, opiniones y argumentos, así como para interrogar a los testigos. La audiencia tambiéndarálaoportunidadde presentarcomentariosatodaslaspersonas.


La audiencia pública se llevará a cabo de forma remota mediante una plataforma de videoconferenciapor Internet (Zoom) y por teléfono.Se puede acceder a la audiencia de Zoom a través del siguienteenlacede reunión:



Teléfonodeun solotoque:   US:+16699006833,,91728945523#,,,,*050223#o






IDdelareunión:        91728945523








IDdelareunión:        91728945523


Código de acceso:    050223



Cualquier persona que tenga una discapacidad y que requiera asistencia o un dispositivo auxiliar paraparticipar en este proceso debe comunicarse con Suzette Porter, coordinadora de NMED de la Ley deEstadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA), por teléfono al (505) 827-2109, o por correo electrónico en:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


HaynúmerosgratuitosdisponiblesparalosusuariosdeTDDoTDYparaaccederalaReddeRetransmisióndeNuevo Méxicoen1-800-659-1779(voz);usuariosdeTTY:1-800-659-8331.



Toda persona que necesite servicios de idiomas (por ejemplo, un intérprete durante una reunión oaudiencia pública, traducción de documentos) debe comunicarse con Ricardo Maestas al (505) 476-6000oporcorreoelectrónicoen:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tengaencuentaqueseproporcionaránserviciosdeinterpretaciónalespañolduranteesteprocedimiento.LaplataformaZoomproporcionaunaopciónparaescuchar,hacerpreguntasyproporcionarcomentariosenlaaudienciapúblicaenespañol.Acontinuación,encontrarálasinstrucciones paraescucharlainterpretaciónde idiomasenlaplataformaZoom:



  1. Enloscontrolesdesureunión/seminarioweb,hagaclicen“Interpretation”.
  2. Hagaclicenelidiomaque deseaescuchar.
  3. (Opcional)Paraescucharsóloelidiomainterpretado,hagaclicen“MuteOriginalAudio”.



  1. Enloscontrolesdesureunión,pulseeliconodepuntossuspensivos(...).
  2. PulseInterpretacióndeidiomas.
  3. (Opcional)PulseelinterruptorparaSilenciarelAudioOriginal.
  4. Haga clicen“Done”.







Si el acceso a Internet es un problema para cualquier persona que quiera participar, comuníquese conRicardo Maestas al (505) 476-6000 o por correo electrónico en: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.paraobtenerinformaciónsobrelospuntoscalientesdelazonayloslugaresconaccesogratuitoaWiFi



Noel ¡Presente!

Organizers have many different styles but the kind of organizer that Noel Marquez became is rare.  As a young man he developed into an artist and then a muralist.  No matter who hired Noel, his murals were about the people, la gente, their histories, their struggles and the dangers that confront them.


Also as a young man, he planted trees around his property near Lake Arthur, New Mexico and began building the adobe house that would eventually house his family, his wife and daughter.  When you enter Noel's house, the first thing that attracts your attention is the mural on his living room wall.  The mural is large and colorful: there are scenes of indigenous and Hispanic heritage and industrial and nuclear pollution.  Almost overwhelming the scene is a truck of radioactive waste coming toward the viewer; the truck is carrying nuclear waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or WIPP, a repository for mid level military radioactive waste.   WIPP trucks travel route 285, a few miles from Noel's home.

In the early 2,000's, Noel and his closest cohort, Rose Gardner form Eunice, NM, formed the organization, the Alliance for Environmental Strategies (AFES) to help people in SE NM deal with the many dangerous projects extant and proposed for the region.  In 2018, AFES called together community members and activists state wide concerned about the increasing number of nuclear projects coming to New Mexico, including the proposal to bring the nation's high level nuclear waste to a site not far from the WIPP site.  The individuals and group leaders who met at Noels farm on that hot summer afternoon formed the Southwest Alliance to Save our Future (; this group that today is comprised of ranchers, farmers, environmentalists, community leaders and people of faith has successfully persuaded the majority of New Mexico's state and federal representatives to oppose bringing high level waste to New Mexico.

The political legacy that Noel leaves goes beyond his accomplishments: he left an example of a certain style of leadership that is not common.  He loved everyone and everyone who met him felt that quality in him.  It didn't matter what culture you came from or what level of commitment you had; you were an important, worthwhile person; you were a brother or sister.  That love has been an inspiration to all who have come into the movement he began and it lingers after his passing, an unassailable weapon with which to fight for a better future.

by Janet Greenwald

  Beyond Nuclear Tribute to Noel

Roswell Daily Record