Pueblo de San Ildefonso


The Pueblo de San Ildefonso is located approximately 25 miles NW of Santa Fe, NM and shares a common boundary with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LANL occupies the area previously known as the San Ildefonso ancestral domain. Transuranic (TRU) Waste destined for WIPP has been stored above ground at LANL Technical Area 54, which is immediately adjacent to San Ildefonso lands.

History of TRMTC Involvement

WIPP began transportation of TRU waste in 1999 and the first shipment via TRU PACs were from LANL. DOE provided close communication with the Pueblo. One of the Pueblo’s concerns was that the shipments not pass through the Pueblo’s Sacred Area which is utilized by tribal members for hunting, gathering, religious, and cultural purposes. DOE agreed that the Pueblo’s wishes would be honored.

On the commencement of the first shipment, the trucks should have made a righthand turn out of LANL TA-54 in order to travel on a route avoiding Sacred Area. Unfortunately, a left hand turn was made, taking the shipment through Sacred Area in violation of the agreement.

As a result of this error, WIPP staff began close consultation, notification, and communication with Pueblo staff. At least two shipments per week pass through Tribal lands on public highways and sufficient advance notification is received, as well as modification to the schedule. DOE has agreed to suspend shipments that travel on public highways adjacent to the Pueblo when certain religious and cultural activities take place. WIPP staff also provide appropriate training to Pueblo staff relative to emergency response, and other issues.

DOE WIPP has developed a model radioactive waste transportation program. The Pueblo has been satisfied with the relationship ever since and has developed excellent communications with DOE.

The Pueblo de San Ildefonso has been an active member of TRMTC since its inception, and prior to that an active member of the Tribal Caucus (TRMTC's predecessor) and DOE's Transportation External Coordination Working Group, or TEC/WG.

Relevant Links

Primary TRMTC Contacts