New Mexico has plan for assessing damage at NASA site

New Mexico

Officials have come up with a plan for quantifying the damage done by contamination at a site in southern New Mexico that once supported NASA’s Apollo Space Program.

The New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee on Wednesday released the final damage assessment plan for the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces.

It marks one step in a process aimed at restoring the site.

Officials say groundwater beneath the facility was contaminated when hazardous substances were disposed of and released during early NASA operations.

The site includes propulsion testing facilities for rocket systems and laboratories for testing the quality of space flight materials.

The trustee has authority to assess and recover damages from NASA and the U.S. Defense Department for the contamination and use the money for restoration work.

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