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September 25, 2002

Sandia Environmental Restoration Project Earns Green Zia Award from New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An eye toward saving taxpayer dollars and the creative re-use of materials have helped Sandia National Laboratories Environmental Restoration Project earn a 2002 Green Zia Award. New Mexico’s Gov. Gary Johnson presented the award today in Santa Fe.

The Environmental Restoration Project is charged with investigation and cleanup of inactive waste sites at Sandia with the aim of establishing a long-term maintenance and monitoring program. Sandia’s environmental restoration employees have found uses for items recovered during remediation activities in a variety of situations. Some materials have been used in roadway construction and erosion control. Other items have been recycled. In some cases, artifacts excavated from landfills have even become museum display items. All items are surveyed and determined to be uncontaminated prior to reuse.

Since 1997, several tons of potential wastes have been diverted, recycled or re-used, avoiding more than $1 million in disposal costs for the project.

Currently, the Project is working with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to establish a schedule for completion of the clean-up activities by 2006. A public comment period on the new schedule, which is part of a Corrective Action Order, is currently under way.

“The Project is constantly working to be a good corporate citizen by minimizing wastes, preventing pollution, and working with the community to be good stewards of the land and the taxpayers funding,” says Fran Nimick, Environmental Restoration Project manager. “We encourage interested citizens to comment on the proposed schedule and to participate in the public meeting process.”

The Green Zia encourages organizations to develop an environmental management system to foster continuous improvement. Considerations for the award include waste reduction, energy conservation, employee involvement, community interaction and environmental compliance. The award is one of five earned by Sandia organizations this year.

Sandia media contact: Will Keener,, (505) 844-1690

Sandia technical contact: Fran Nimick, , (505) 845-9036

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