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Local, state and federal agencies will take part in a Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) transportation exercise in Roswell this month. The Sept. 21-22 training exercise is designed to determine the response capabilities to a radiological incident involving a WIPP truck transporting materials to the U.S. Department of Energy storage facility outside Carlsbad.
The exercise will be conducted each day between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. at an old runway area of the former Roswell municipal airport. The exercise site is just to the north of West College Boulevard between North Montana and North Sycamore avenues (across College Boulevard from Cielo Grande Recreation Area). The exercise will not require the closure of any public streets and should not impact traffic.
For safety and logistical reasons, the exercise is not open to public viewing directly within the site. Access will be limited to exercise participants, news media, and city, county, state and federal observers and agency evaluators.
Agencies scheduled to participate as emergency responders are the Roswell Fire Department, Roswell Police Department, Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, Midway Fire Department, Sierra Fire Department, Pecos Valley Regional Communications Center and Superior Ambulance Service. Medical facilities participating are Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, Lovelace Regional Hospital, Valley Health Clinic in Dexter, La Familia Care Center and New Mexico Rehabilitation Center.
Additional participants and sponsors of the exercise are the Roswell/Chaves County Office of Emergency Management, Artesia General Hospital, U.S. Department of Energy – Carlsbad Field Office, WIPP coordinators from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission State Fire Marshal’s Office and New Mexico State Police. The American Red Cross is coordinating the storage and distribution of food and drinks for those involved in the exercise. The food and drinks are being donated by Domino’s Team Bailey and Albertson’s Market.