Huntington Medical Waste in 2016 Set off Radioactive Alarm at KY Landfill

Updated 4 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Huntington Medical Waste in 2016 Set off Radioactive Alarm at KY Landfill

Medical waste from Huntington, WV set off a radioactive alarm for TC-99 at a Kentucky landfill, according to an email found by HNN.

The email from Curt Pendergrass PhD, Supervisor, Radioactive Materials Section Kentucky Radiation Health Branch, said, "I know that Republic Services operates many landfills here in KY and it is a ccompany policy that all Republic landfills have drive through radiation portal monitors. We get our share of alarms for medical wastes in sewage sludge, usually long-lived isotopes such as  I-131 which has a 8 day half-life.

We even had a Republic landfill outside Ashland KY get a medical isotope alarm in a waste load from Huntington, WV not too long ago. That load was found to contain Tc-99m which meant that with a 6 hour half-life, the waste was pretty fresh."

At that time the two states had an ongoing discussion over wastes from Fairmont, WV too.

The February 5, 2016 email was sent to:

Jason R. Frame B.S. R.T. (R), Chief Radiological Health Program Office of Environmental Health Services/Radiation, Toxics and Indoor Air Division 350 Capitol Street, Room 313 Charleston, West Virginia 25301   Kentucky's Green Valley Landfill was issued a Notice of Violation on March 8, 2016. According to notes from the government inspection the site was investigated during an unannounced visit to address allegations the landfill was accepting what is known as technicologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material.   The facility  accepted and disposed of from Ohio on various dates from May 2015 until January 2016,  26 loads, totaling 368.53 tons of the low-level radioactive waste.   Citizens  of Boyd County Environmental Coalition for two years opposed operations at Big Run and a proposed disposal station in Ashland, Ky.   This area has several landfills in close proximity to one another greatly affecting the community: Green Valley (radioactive waste), Big Run (massive tonnage with rapid production of gases, watered gas wells and excess temperatures causing liner breakdown) and Cooksey Brothers (a Superfund site). Our history shows waste businesses have questionable credibility with noncompliance, violations and illegal acceptance of waste. This coupled with the state’s inadequate funding for on-site inspectors to ensure accountability is more than enough reason not to inflict another waste facility on the citizens of Boyd County.”