Silva Appointed Director of EEG, June 8, 2000

SOCORRO, N.M., June 7, 2000 -- Matthew K. Silva recently was appointed director of New Mexico Tech's Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG), the state-funded research university announced today.

Silva previously worked as a chemical engineer at the EEG, a position he has held for ten years.

"I'm delighted to continue the good work that EEG has been doing for the past 22 years," Silva says.

Silva earned both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from New Mexico Tech. He went on to obtain his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas.

Prior to working for EEG, Silva's extensive research background also included a six-year stint as a research engineer with New Mexico Tech's Petroleum Recovery Research Center.

Silva recently was named to head the specialized research group after longtime EEG director Robert H. Neill retired earlier this year.

EEG is primarily tasked with conducting independent technical reviews of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site near Carlsbad to ensure protection of the public health and safety of the people of New Mexico and to gauge the impact of WIPP on the state's environment.

The WIPP site is a repository for permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive wastes generated by the national defense programs. The EEG was established in 1978 with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to the State of New Mexico. In 1989, national legislation further assigned administration of the EEG to New Mexico Tech.

In addition to conducting independent technical analyses, EEG also has been independently monitoring background radioactivity in air, water, and soil, both at the WIPP site and in surrounding communities since 1985.