Our mission is to control the beneficial uses of ionizing radiation, while providing for protection against intrinsic hazards that it can pose to workers, the public, and the environment. The Bureau regulates uses of sources of radioactivity and radiation under the statutory authority of the New Mexico Radiation Control Act (74-3-1 through 74-3-16 NMSA, 1978).
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Environment Department launches radioactive material licensing compliance initiative focused on oil and natural gas industry
(Feb. 3, 2021) – The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) launched a compliance initiative to ensure oil and natural gas companies are properly licensed and in compliance with rules governing the management of regulated Natural Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM).
Under regulations adopted by the Environmental Improvement Board more than two decades ago, oil and natural gas operators must obtain a license through NMED if their activities alter, concentrate or cause potential human exposure to NORM at certain levels. These activities may consist of extraction, transfer, transport, storage, or disposal of materials. NMED currently regulates two NORM licensees.
The Department’s regulations specifically address NORM found in equipment from oil, gas, soil, produced water, sludges, scale deposits in pipes, tanks, and equipment from gas processing, fractionation, and dry gas distribution above certain levels. For example, pipes transporting fluids brought up during operations may accumulate scale over time. If this scale contains NORM at certain concentrations, a license may be required. Licenses require entities to provide details as to how the material is managed, handled, and disposed of to ensure public health and the environment are protected.
NMED issued letters to approximately 20 oil and gas companies that operate a combined 39,000 wells in New Mexico. Any company receiving such a letter must respond to NMED within 60 days describing their compliance status. Failure to comply with the requirements outlined in the letter may result in civil penalties of up to $15,000 per day.
Over the next few months, NMED will determine the extent of compliance or non-compliance with the rules by the oil and natural gas industry and take appropriate enforcement action if warranted.
The letters are available here.
Today, the Governor announced that in addition to expanding recently-implemented temporary telework policies, the state government is temporarily reducing some non-critical services to minimize public exposure. As part of the Governor’s directive, New Mexico state agencies are to make adjustments to their operations, including the following actions:
- The Radiation Control Bureau Santa Fe & Albuquerque offices closed to the public until further notice;
- The Radiation Radioactive Material License actions will continue to be issued by US Mail during the current operations;
- The X-Ray Registrations will continue to issue registrations during this period by US Mail during the ongoing operations;
- The Radiation Protection Inspectors will continue to conduct e-mail, internet, and phone inspections during the current period until further notice;
- The Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy will continue to issue professional certifications via mail during the ongoing operations until further notice;
- The Indoor Radon Outreach will continue to provide information and radon kits during the current actions until further notice.
Bureau Chief, Radiation Control Bureau, Santiago Rodriguez, at 505-476-8604 or 505-270-1930. E-mail Santiago.Rodriguez1@state.nm.us
Program Manager RAM, X-Ray machines, and Mammography, Michael Ortiz, at 505-476-8605 or 505-699-0060. E-mail Michael.Ortiz1@state.nm.us
Program Manager, Radiological and Chemical Advocacy, Loretta Valerio (505) 753-7256, or 505-629-9761. E-mail Loretta.Valerio@state.nm.us.
Alternate Daniel Ortiz, (505) 827-2559. E-mail Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Administrator, Medical Imaging & Radiation Therapy, Stephen Sanchez, 505-476-8633. E-mail. email@example.com
Program Coordinator, Indoor Radon Outreach, Michael Taylor, 505-476-8608 or 505 490-1942 . E-mail Michael.Taylor@state.nm.us
Radioactive Material License (RAM), contact Victor Diaz, at 505-476-8601 or cell phone at 505-231-5736. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
General License (RAM) contact Robert (Bobby) Bicknell at 505-469-5362 or 505-476-8603. E-mail Robert.email@example.com
X-Ray Registration and shielding design review contact James Hesch, at 505-670-4397 or 505-476-8611. E-mail James.Hesch@state.nm.us
Alternate contact Michael Ortiz, 505-476-8605 or 505-699-0060. E-mail Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Radiological Services, X-Ray and RAM Reciprocal Recognition contact Thomas Collins, at 505-660-9108 or 505-476-8610. E-mail email@example.com
Program Coordinator, WIPP Emergency Training – Bobby Lopez at 505-670-1120 office. E-mail Bobby.Lopez@state.nm.us
Emergency notifications, incidents, allegations notify Carl Sullivan at 505-231-2054 or 505-222-9519. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Enforcement, incidents, allegations notify Robert (Bobby) Bicknell at 505-469-5362 or 505-476-8603. E-mail Robert.email@example.com
This website is intended for the use of the citizens of the State of New Mexico (USA), and the Bureau’s licensees and registrants. We welcome all suggestions that would improve its function.
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For information regarding this page, contact Carl Sullivan of the Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.