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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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July 24, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 24, 1997
 

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4 Thursday, July 24, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette DOE admits contaminalLion water near test sitq by Geoff Kreis The Department of Energy held a public meeting at Bob Ruud Community Center last Wednesday to admit that groundwater around the test site has been contaminated and that they are fully responsible for the cleanup concerns. The DOE has a plan it calls the Resource Management Smoke -: Sisals Indian Trading Post Authentic Indian Jewelry SummerSpecials Open 7 Days a Week aian otmed 10 a.m. - , p.m. Operated (Near 160 & Basin) APPOINTMENTS WEEKL Jan McDonald, M.D. Dermatology Clinic of Nevada, Ltd. Harvard Medical School & Mayo Clinic Trained at Pahrump Medical Center 1501 E. Calvada Call: 727-6060 Plan (RMP). The focus of this plan, according to DOE officials is to concentrate on different ways of cleaning up the water along with other areas of the test site. The beginning stages of the RMP deals with determining the flow of underground water, where it settles, and the current quality of groundwater samples at and around the test site. This phase of the program should be completed in September of this year. "The DOE is concerned with the way the groundwater flows and how they are going to model their cleanup plans," said Paul Richits, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Other future RMP goals include maintaining current water supplies, ensuring safety standards, continued cleanup procedures, and training and improving DOE staff members who work with water supplies. "We have nine resource areas," said DOE representative Kevin Thornton. "We want to support the DOE's activity facilities, health and safety, land use, water, cultural and American Indian resources, geological and mineral re- sources, airspace, biological resources, and socioeconomic resources." Although the proposed .... plans would clean up a num- ber of areas that have been affected by DOE activity, there are still many areas the DOE says it is not willing to service. The reason, accord- ing to Thornton, is that these areas are not big problem areas and that the DOE does not have the time and re- sources to encompass a I Summit Family Health Care I 1151 S. Hwy 160 Pahrump Station [ Call: 727-5509 For Insurance/Billing Questions Call 1-800- 752-4338 • Diseases of Skin • Discoloration • Diseases of Hair • Psoriasis • Skin Cancer • Cosmetic Laser • Acne Surgery • Spider Veins • Chemical Peels • Wrinkles • Hair Restoration • Skin Surgery • Nail Disorders • Moles • Eczema alley Dental Group 1420 E. State ltiway 572 Pahrump, NV, 89041 I II larger spectrum than they are already doing. Sally Devlin, a Amargosa Valley resident, voiced her concern about wildlife on the test site. "There should be more to the RMP besides water," she said. "Animals are dying on the test site, the DOE does nothing to improve that." Many citizens were concerned as to how their taxes would figure into the DOE's program. They wanted solid figures as to what percentage their taxes would be affected. "We have to determine exactly what we are going to clean up and how much the costs are going to run," Thornton said. "Once we get those figures, we will pass them along to the public." The DOE has water supply wells spread throughout the test site. Depths of the wells can run anywhere from 800- 3,000 feet beneath the earth's surface. There are currently 15 wells that are still operational on the test site grounds, less than half of what used to exist when the test site first opened. Tests are being conducted by the DOE to determine which of these wells have been contaminated and which have remained unaffected by test site activity. Doug Duncan, another DOE spokesman said that one reason why the water might be contaminated is due to water flow within the test site. Rainfall and snow in the mountain areas run down through the terrain and ends up in under- ground rivers and waterways. When passing through test site lands, they pick up used testing materials and carry them into the water tables. "The water tables that lie below Yucca Mountain are especially endangered," Duncan said. "Tritium, plutonium, and other waste that will be stored there will leak into the supplies as well." DOE officials are working on maps and computer pro- grams designed to predict where water flows could be affected. The early studies they say will hopefully al- low them to solve problems before they start. The DOE hopes that they can contain the problem and continue working with the public on a solution to the groundwater problem.. 727,6615 I support the Pahrump Seniors in their attempt to get the VOTE BACK at the Senior Center To the Nye County Commissioners: Name: Address: Telephone #: Bring to the Pahrump Valley Gazette or mail to Pahrump Valley Gazette 1330 Hwy 160 Ste. 3, Pahrump, INV., 89048 or Attention: Charlie Gronda or Gary Hollis, Pahrump Town Office 400 N. Hwy 160 Pahrump, NV., 89048 NOW OPEN SUNDAYS Under Hew Management Better Than NowI 1721 S. Highway 160, Pahrump. Sales 727-1050 Stop By & See Us Anytime, HOURS: =.,,.r s.= s=t. s.e s.,,. to- D937 1994 Dodge Shadow; Air, Cruise, Tilt, AM-FM Sale Price $7990