An Overview of a Public Hearing Process Conducted in New Mexico Regarding the Fate of a Former Landfill at Sandia National Laboratories

M.L. Miller1; R.E. Fate1; J.L. Peace1; M.D. Nagy2; and T.L. Goering3 (1Sandia National Laboratories; 2Shaw Environmental, Inc.; 3GRAM, Inc.)

It began as a straightforward engineering evaluation and decision-making process regarding the disposition of a former landfill operated between 1959 and 1988 at the Sandia National Laboratories. It evolved into a extended effort involving numerous public meetings, additional field studies, data validation (and re-validation), information, mis-information, activists, technical "experts", independent reviews, and finally a legal proceeding (the Public Hearing). This paper identifies the technical issues involved, the public concerns, communication issues, and the public hearing process (and a "final" decision?). Lessons-learned pointers from the "voice of experience" (the author's) are included.

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