LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – After facing allegations that the U.S. Department of Energy and operators at Los Alamos National Lab improperly disposed of hazardous waste, the lab operators have paid out more than $200,000 to the state’s environment department.

In 2020, Los Alamos National Lab told the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) that they discovered underground debris in a site formerly used by the lab. The national lab submitted an assessment plan to explore the extent of the contamination.

Then, the lab and operating partners discovered cadmium at the site. The environment department asked the lab to show their waste management and disposal procedures. After seeing the documentation, the environment department issued a notice of violation to the lab for failure to dispose of hazardous waste within 90 days or obtain a permit.

The labs paid out $214,500 as a penalty. And with the payment and settlement, the lab does not have to admit guilt to the allegations.