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Air monitors may be on way to WIPP

CARLSBAD – More radiation detection could be on its way to the area around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently responded to a letter written by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich requesting additional outside air monitors in and around the nuclear repository facility.

The EPA has already worked in conjunction with the Department of Energy, the state of New Mexico and New Mexico State University to deploy 15 air monitors in the area and evaluations are underway to see if more are needed.

Data from EPA monitoring of the Feb. 14 radiation leak at WIPP corroborates the evidence already released that there is no human or environmental threat to the area surrounding the nuclear waste facility.

Air filter tests released on Feb. 19 found trace amounts of americium and plutonium had spread into the outside air as much as a half mile away from WIPP.