LAS CRUCES, NM – Doña Ana County is slowly growing its new hazmat fleet, which will be housed at the new Doña Ana County Emergency and Hazmat Response Station in Santa Teresa.

According to a release from the County, Doña Ana County Fire Marshal Robert Monsivaiz said it has purchased equipment for the hazmat fleet, including a cargo trailer and a mobile unit acquired through various grants. These pieces of equipment are currently kept under a shelter at the airport.

Facility construction began in January. The County expects to open the facility for use by the end of June. The total cost of the project is $1.3 million.

“The new building will allow us to add to that fleet, and will enable us to better maintain what we have so that it can remain in service longer,” said Monsivaiz.

The mobile unit contains chemical suits, decontamination equipment, and monitors to assess the levels of contamination before hazmat crews go into potentially dangerous situations.

“This type of facility is a vital part of Fire and Emergency Services, especially in that part of the county where the probability of a chemical spill is higher than other areas,” said Monsivaiz, who led a team of first responders charged with containing a chemical spill after a 13-car derailment in Sunland Park in the late 1990s. “If we should ever be faced with a situation like that, Doña Ana County will be ready to respond.”