Environment, Health and Safety

The water treatment plant

Sand filters at the water treatment plant

The Sanford Lab's emergency response team practices rescue techniques every month.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility uses International Safety Management principles to support the design, construction and operation of this deep underground laboratory. ISM controls hazards to personnel, the environment and property, and the Sanford Lab complies with all applicable codes and regulations.

The Environment, Health and Safety Department (EHS) has developed and continues to improve a best-practices safety program drawing on multiple sources, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Sanford Lab  complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the facility discharges water from its treatment plant under a permit from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Sanford Lab's Emergency Response Team, which includes fulltime lab staff and part-time members from surrounding communities, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to incidents at the laboratory or to assist other institutions. ERT members train together regularly.

Sanford Lab EHS staff also conduct regular safety training for Sanford Lab personnel, contractors and visiting researchers, and the EHS Department also oversees site-specific safety training for visitors. In addition, the EHS Department maintains safety training records, inspects and oversees maintenance of safety equipment and administers a facility-wide incident reporting program.

The Sanford Lab is a smoke-free and drug and alcohol free facility.