US lawmakers from New Mexico hold out on review of nuke plan

New Mexico

FILE – This undated file aerial view shows the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. The agency that oversees the United States’ nuclear arsenal says it doesn’t need to do any broad environmental reviews of a proposal that calls for ramping up production of plutonium triggers at federal installations in New Mexico and South Carolina. The National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, released a supplemental analysis related to the project, saying the determination was made after reviewing extensive documentation and public comments that were received last year. (The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are finding themselves in an awkward position as watchdog groups claim the U.S. government is skirting one of the nation’s key environmental laws.

Critics say the government is refusing to take a bigger look at the consequences of ramping up production of key plutonium components for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

As supporters of bringing more defense spending to the state, the Democratic lawmakers have been reticent to speak about on whether there should be a more in-depth review of the plutonium core project follows their intense criticism just days earlier of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back environmental oversight of other federal projects.

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