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Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

Also Known As: Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute, ITRI
State: New Mexico
Location: Albuquerque
Time Period: 1960-June 20, 2013
Facility Type: Department of Energy

Facility Description: The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) (formerly the Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute or ITRI) is located on Kirtland Air Force Base. It was established in 1960 to conduct research on the human health consequences of inhaling airborne radioactive materials. The Institute was operated for Department of Energy (DOE) by the non- profit Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute. Under Public Law 111-11, the LRRI was privatized and legal transfer of the property and facility from DOE to LRRI was finalized on June 20, 2013.

Throughout the course of its operations, the potential for beryllium exposure existed at this site, due to beryllium use, residual contamination, and decontamination activities.

Listing:
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.

Compensation:
As of 04/19/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute is $2,179,590.

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, even if your claim has been accepted or denied.

We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY.

*Site Description and History
The Inhalation Toxicology Laboratory (ITL) site is located on the southern edge of Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The site occupies 240,000 square feet of building space on 144 acres of land withdrawn from the Bureau of Land Management for use by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). KAFB is located on a high, arid mesa about 5 miles east of the Rio Grande River. The area surrounding ITL is relatively flat and slopes gently westward toward the river. The mean elevation at KAFB is 5,348 feet.

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (predecessor agency of DOE) created the ITL facility in 1960 to study late-occurring health risks from inhaling small amounts of radioactive particles. Research at the laboratory has since broadened to include a range of radiological and nonradiological respiratory health issues. The Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research originally operated the facility under a management and operating (M&O) contract and conducted research for DOE’s Office of Science and other DOE organizations. The Lovelace Foundation reorganized in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (hereafter Lovelace) evolved as the current facility operator.

In 1996, as a result of decreased DOE funding for the type of work conducted at ITL, Lovelace began efforts to convert the facility into a private-sector operation. To avoid the cost of total shutdown and to allow the completion of research already in progress at the end of the M&O contract, on October 1, 1996, DOE awarded a Cooperative Agreement to Lovelace to assist with privatization of laboratory operations. Under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement, DOE provided Lovelace with limited prioritization start-up funding and agreed to fund any environmental cleanup required for the site. On October 1, 2001, DOE executed a long‐term agreement under which Lovelace will lease the facility through 2025.

Historical operations at ITL resulted in radiological and nonradiological contamination at numerous areas in the laboratory complex. Lovelace conducted remedial action in the early 1990s and completed cleanup at several sites in 1997. DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) provided funding and oversight for the remedial action.

ITL is currently operated by Lovelace and will continue to operate as a private research facility. Property transfer legislation passed on March 30, 2009, resulted in the transfer of ITL property title from DOE (Office of National Nuclear Security Administration [NNSA]) to Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. On June 12, 2013 the transfer of property was formalized through a Quit Claim Deed. The legislation releases DOE from all environmental liability at the ITL site, including contamination from past, present, or future activities (Section 13005 of Public Law 111-11, “2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act”).

Responsibility for management of historical, government-owned records and long-term groundwater monitoring at the facility transferred from EM to the DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) on October 1, 2012. The NNSA Service Center located at KAFB performed all land-lord oversight functions until the property title transferred to Lovelace. Effective upon 2013 property transfer, the long-term groundwater monitoring program was no longer the responsibility of LM but of Lovelace.

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