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NMSU research will continue after college’s transition to independence

Labs at the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center study soil, air and water samples, along with people, for signs of radiation, Sept. 21 at CEMRC, 1400 University Drive.

As New Mexico State University Carlsbad transitions into an independent college, the university will continue to have a presence in the community through the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center (CEMRC).

Ken Van Winkle, NMSU Carlsbad’s branch executive director said the transition will not affect CEMRC and the program will continue to operate with the university.

The research center is a collaboration between the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management and NMSU to monitor radiation in the Carlsbad area.

Lakshmi N. Reddi, dean of the College of Engineering at NMSU, said CEMRC plays a vital role in the region’s health and industries.

Reddi said the center studies soil, air and water samples for signs of radiation. He said NMSU provides resources and allows the center to conduct independent and objective research, free of influence.

Labs at the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center study soil, air and water samples, along with people, for signs of radiation, Sept. 21 at CEMRC, 1400 University Drive.

CEMRC also offers in-vivo bio-assay services that can detect radiation in people by testing tissue samples.

Reddi said the center was the first to detect radiation after the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant event in 2014 when a mispackaged drum of radioactive waste ruptured and contaminated multiple areas of the facility.

“We want to make sure that these services are available to evaluate radiation exposure in workers and also members of the public in the case of an accident at the WIPP,” Reddi said.