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New Mexico State University

Lab Decommissioning Procedures

Lab Decomissioning Procedure

NMSU employees responsible for laboratory facilities and operations are required to follow this Laboratory Decommissioning Procedure prior to vacating any laboratory or other space where chemical, biological, or radioactive agents have been used or stored.

Events requiring decommissioning of a laboratory include: 

  • Terminating affiliation with New Mexico State University  
  • Relocating to another laboratory space 
  • Major laboratory renovation 
  • Retirement from research pursuits  

The principal investigator, academic instructor, lab director/manager and graduate student are fully responsible for complying with all laboratory decommissioning requirements.  In the event of death, disability, abrupt termination of employment, or other unplanned event, the department head/division director becomes responsible for implementing the decommissioning procedure.

Department head/division director are additionally responsible for oversight of the decommissioning procedure and for certifying that a vacated laboratory space has been properly decommissioned.  Researchers who are vacating shared spaces shall ensure that this procedure is implemented for their portion of the lab space. Graduate research projects must follow this procedure to decommission research materials and dispose of waste prior to completion of work and before the thesis or dissertation is signed.   Effective identification of research materials/waste and appropriate disposal should be an integral component of the educational process when dealing with hazardous materials. 

Departments/Divisions may incur significant costs as a result of laboratories and research materials  that have not been properly decommissioned.  Departments / Divisions are responsible for any deficiencies not corrected by the individual responsible for laboratory facility and/or research materials.   Any regulatory actions or fines resulting from improper management or disposal of any regulated material may also accrue to the department/division.  

More details and decommissioning form . . . .