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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Concerns grow as Feds dispatch airplane capable of detecting chemicals


Federal environment officials have dispatched a special twin-engine plane capable of detecting chemical and radiological materials as a wildfire continues to burn near a government nuclear laboratory in northern New Mexico.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "flying laboratory" is making its initial data-collection flight Wednesday afternoon.The plane has sensors that collect detailed air samples from a safe distance.Gov. Susana Martinez said the results from the sampling will be posted on the state Environment Department's website as soon as they become available.The nuclear lab and state environment officials are also monitoring the air. They say no fire is burning on lab property and there have been no releases of toxins.Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico had requested the EPA's help early on in the monitoring effort.

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