07:51 GMT +3 hours28 July 2016
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The West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri, pictured in July 2014

Nuclear Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill

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Radioactive drilling waste was illegally dumped at a landfill in Kentucky, according to state officials. Now, they’re issuing warnings and investigating how the nuclear waste ended up at the dump site.

State officials confirmed this week that low-level nuclear waste was illegally dumped at the Blue Ridge Landfill in Irvine, Ky., last year.

The material came from rock and brine extracted in oil and gas drilling operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The process concentrated naturally-occurring radionuclicides. The material was further concentrated after being recycled by Fairmont Brine Processing of West Virginia.

Kentucky Division of Waste Management Director Tony Hatton says this is the material that made its way to Irvine between July and November 2015.

State officials say the material came in 47 sealed boxes each with 25 cubic feet of material.
The Blue Ridge Landfill is not equipped to legally handle even this low-level radioactive material. State officials say they are working with landfill managers to see how the material was handled, and whether any workers or others were affected. A middle school and high school are located across Highway 89 from the landfill.

Hatton doubts there is any ongoing exposure at the dumpsite.

“The best we know, the material has been buried since November,” Hatton said.

State officials sent warnings to landfill operators throughout the state to watch out for the material and to not accept it. They are also investigating a possible shipment of similar material to a landfill in Greenup County.

“Legal action against the firm that engaged in the illegal dumping and the landfill that accepted the contaminated material is under review,” reads an advisory letter sent this week to state waste-management departments. 

“We are working with the state and trying to determine who’s on first base,” said Charles Law, general manager of Blue Ridge Landfill.


Law told the Courier Journal that the issue was being handled by players higher up the corporate latter, but admitted there were “gray areas” in the investigation into how the waste got to the landfill.

When asked if the company knew the material was radioactive when it accepted it, he said “We accepted it under normal landfill practices.”

Radionuclidies in the waste have a half-life of more than 1,000 years. This is the amount of time required for half of the atoms in radioactive substance to disintegrate. Liners typically used in
municipal solid waste landfills are warranted for about 30 years.

Waste disposal expert Tom FitzGerald said that any landfills that accepted the waste would have to extend the length of time operators are responsible for any pollution to account for long-lived radionuclicides.

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Tags:
pollution, environmentalism, environmental degradation, nuclear waste, nuclear energy, Kentucky Division of Waste Management, Fairmont Brine Processing of West Virginia, Charles Law, Tony Hatton, Kentucky, Irvine
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  • jas
    Warnings. Ooooo. That serious? *sarcasm*
  • FlorianGeyer
    The US really needs to control its own problems with the trillions of dollars being used to blow other countries to bits. Its time to bring the troops home to the US and engage in trade with other nations and not theft. The American people would be better off and only the US Oligarchs would suffer and who really cares about them.
  • jas
    “We are working with the state and trying to determine who’s on first base,” said Charles Law, general manager of Blue Ridge Landfill.
    --
    I think I have an idea of where the problem is. I don't know about first base, Charles, but maybe we can find a penalty box for you.
  • jasin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    FlorianGeyer, That frustration of taxation without representation is what Trump is beginning to tap into and it's terrifying the US government and its government media.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
    jas,

    I blame the illiterate Mexican immigrant who packed the boxes and put them into the dumpster.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
    jas,

    Its the same all over Europe as well. The people are sick and tired of highly paid smooth talking conmen/women who have ' merry go rounds ' of endless meetings and fail to do what we pay them for. And they on retirement they get a fat pension for a lifetime of poor performance.
  • michael
    I wonder how many other illegal dumping sites there are in the us?
  • Is it because I am black?
    Now, they just had the big conference in Paris, but the rape of the environment continues, and on a world-wide scale, not only in the US.
  • aubreydgarrett
    I would have thought the US would have used their new dump site for nuclear waste- Ukraine.
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beamsin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, I wonder as well.. but the congress and the white house are the most known I guess.
  • backfromthegraav
    So .... AmeriCuns have dropped depleted Uranium all over teh world in there illegal WARS
  • michaelin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
    Jet fuel can't melt steel beams, lol!!! :)
  • FlorianGeyerin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
    Jet fuel can't melt steel beams,
    There are lots of sites in the UK where illegal dumping occurs. Often very early, very late or at weekends. I guess this is the same in all countries where tipping taxes for toxic and dangerous waste are very high. False documentation is easily obtained and then a big profit can be made by all concerned.
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beamsin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    FlorianGeyer, You're right. Just a matter of time before a Flint like event (100 times worse). Capitalism at its finest indeed.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
    Jet fuel can't melt steel beams,

    Its very difficult to regulate those who find it easy to commit criminal acts. Drug dealers for instance.
    If countries really want to provide a safe environment for their people why are their leaders unwilling to spend the cost of a few fighter jets or nuclear missiles in the defence of the people by defending against home grown enemies of illegal tipping and corruption?

    Why not have free and easy access disposal for dangerous waste ?
  • Jackov Smirnoff
    Should have funded 10,000 year nuke storage at Yucca Mountain (I could still be living in Vegas ).
  • Ivan Buckeye
    Someone isn't taking their job serious. Reckless.
  • Good to see that its in THERE backyard!!! The Australian government have been wanting to dump there SHeIT in the outback of South Australia. Nothing has came of it, YET? If they do, we can soon expect to see mutant Skippys (kangaroos), with THREE LEGS!!! LOL
  • vendor
    1000 yrs. lol And a couple of springs more.
  • sakisselin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
    jas,
    Hmmm...wonder if Mitch McConnell has a few extra $$$ in his accounts?
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