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West Virginia Department of Education seeks answers concerning Paden City High School

By Chuck Clegg for The Intelligencer

PADEN CITY, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education is asking questions of Wetzel County Schools concerning Paden City standing on environmentally compromised land.

The Wetzel Board of Education met April 3 in a special meeting after Superintendent Cassie Porter received a letter from the WVDE raising questions about Paden City High.

In the letter, the WVDE expressed concern that it had been made aware that Paden City High School is located directly over a site that is designated as a Superfund Site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and is on the National Priorities list.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund, was passed by Congress in December 1980. The law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries to, among other things, identify and respond to sites from which releases of hazardous substances into the environment have occurred or could potentially occur.

The WVDE’s letter also raised questions regarding the safety of the Paden City site and the potential threats surrounding the Superfund designation and its effects on Paden City students and staff.

The letter states that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Health Consultation report, dated Jan. 31, provides some insight into the status of the Superfund site and, more specifically, the ground soil under Paden City High School. The ATSDR has issued multiple recommendations and cautions. These cautions include the fact that the vapor exposure pathway from the source of pollution through the groundwater and subsurface soil into the indoor air of structures above or near the contaminated area has not been eliminated.

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