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WIPP Working Group

WIPP Transportation Safety Program Implementation Guide

The WIPP Working Group (WWG) is comprised of classified staff at each of the six agencies that participate in the Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force and is the primary vehicle for the collaborative management of the WIPP Transportation Safety Program. The participating agencies and the roles of their representatives to the WWG are as follows:

Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD)

Bureau Chief of the NM Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force, Eletha. J. Trujillo:

  • Coordinates the activities of the Task Force
  • Keeps Task Force Chair and members apprised of relevant issues concerning national and state policy regarding radioactive waste management and transportation
  • Provides staff support to the EMNRD Secretary and the Task Force
  • Chairs the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
  • Liaison between the State of New Mexico and other states, other regional groups, and the federal government on issues regarding radioactive waste transportation
  • Governor’s representative on the National Governors Association Federal Facilities Task Force
  • Provides policy analysis on radioactive waste issues, as needed, to the Governor, the WGA, the WIEB, TAG, Task Force members, and WIPP Working Group members
  • Coordinates the NM WIPP Transportation Safety Program, i.e., activities of the WIPP Working Group (WWG)
  • Facilitates the WWG meetings
  • Monitors WIPP shipments in New Mexico
  • Administers the funding provided by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to operate the NM WIPP Transportation Safety Program ensuring fiscal oversight
  • Compiles all program reporting to the state and to the DOE

EMNRD Energy Conservation and Management Division: Hazardous Waste Planning Bureau

Program Coordinator-1, Local Service Support, Carrie DeAguero

  • Travels the state monthly to connect with local communities
  • Participates in local emergency planning committees
  • Provides hazardous materials subject matter expertise to local communities
  • Establishes Memorandum of Agreement (MOAs) with WIPP route communities for radiation emergency response training and equipment purchases
  • Monitors the WIPP route communities’ MOAs
  • Coordinates with WWG members on providing other emergency response training
  • In coordination with other WWG members, exchanges for re-calibration and distributes radiation detection& monitoring equipment
  • Coordinates with WWG members on WIPPTREX exercises
  • EMNRD liaison to WWG


 Training and Development Specialist, Stephen Kuhns:

  • Development of the WIPPTREX program
  • Sets up MERRT classes for WIPP route communities’ first responders
  • Assists other WWG members in the trainings provided

Department of Health (DOH)

WIPP EMS Medical Preparedness Coordinator, Tim Yackey:

  • Provides training in Radiation Emergency Medical Response to first responders and emergency medical responders
  • Provides training in Hazardous Materials & Disaster Response
  • Centralized distributor of DTPA (drug that binds heavy metals – for use in possible internal radioactive materials contamination) for NM – users are tracked for life
  • Tracks the distribution and use of DTPA
  • Distributes rad response equipment to hospitals and clinics and ensures that all responders have the appropriate equipment
  • In coordination with other WWG members, exchanges for re-calibration and distributes radiation detection & monitoring equipment
  • Coordinates with other WWG members on the provision of emergency response training
  • DOH liaison to the WWG

Department of Public Safety (DPS)

DPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE)

WIPP Shipment Inspections Coordinator, Captain Joseph Romero:

  • Coordinates the WIPP shipment inspection schedule
  • Assists the CVE Hazmat Training Team
  • Provides hazmat technical assistance
  • Provides hazmat refresher training
  • Distributes and exchanges radiation detection equipment for re-calibration
  • Assist in the planning and development of WIPPTREX exercises

DPS New Mexico State Police Division (SPD)

SPD Hazardous Materials Coordinator, Captain Mark Rowley:

Coordinating radiological training for DPS officers

  • Purchasing and distributing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and detection equipment to first responders and Emergency Response Officers (ERO)
  • Decision making responsibilities regarding the safe movement of WIPP shipments in New Mexico, especially during inclement weather conditions.
  • Participate in the Western Governor’s Association which provides oversight to the WIPP program.
  • Assist in the exchange of information with law enforcement regarding the WIPP shipments and protocol
  • Participate in WIPPTREX exercises
  • SPD liaison to WWG

NM Environment Department (NMED)

WIPP Coordinator, Radiation Control Bureau, Bobby Lopez:

  • Runs the radiation detection & monitoring equipment re-calibration program
  • Responds to radioactive materials emergencies
  • Runs the dosimetry program
  • Runs the Homeland Security radioactive materials program
  • Works with Sandia Labs personnel on RAD/TRAN
  • Provides radiation monitoring instrument training
  • Provides training for understanding radioactive materials and appropriate response to them
  • Provides technical support in dealing with radioactive materials to NM communities and state agencies
  • Assists in the mitigation of environmental impacts from radioactive material
  • NMED liaison to the WWG

NM Department of Transportation (NMDOT)

NMDOT WIPP Contact, Rick Padilla:

  • Monitors highway safety and risk issues with regards to WIPP shipping
  • NMDOT liaison to WWG