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W.Va. officials to expedite radiation detection

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — State environmental regulators are drafting emergency regulations to require radiation detectors at landfills sooner than January in the wake of contaminated material being dumped at a local waste facility.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hopes to file the emergency rules with the Secretary of State’s Office in June, spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said.

“We are hoping to get those detectors in much sooner, and that is what is being addressed by these emergency rules,” she added. “We’re hoping those rules can be in effect as early as mid-to-late summer.”
Meanwhile, a DEP order prohibiting Meadowfill landfill from accepting any more of the waste remains in effect until further notice, Gillenwater said.
That order was issued this week after the state agency learned that the Bridgeport landfill accepted Marcellus shale drilling sludge that was judged too radioactive at Arden Landfill in Chartiers, Pennsylvania.
Waste Management owns both landfills, according to the company’s website.
The sludge, disposed of Tuesday at Meadowfill, came from a Range Resources well pad in Smith Township, Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Gillenwater said Waste Management told the DEP’s Office of Waste Management that 12 tons of the sludge was disposed at Meadowfill.
“From what I understand, that is about half a dump-truck load,” she said.
Waste Management spokeswoman Lisa Kardell said the DEP questioned the company about two loads of material that were generated in Pennsylvania and disposed at Meadowfill.
“Waste Management investigated and believes all the proper protocols were followed prior to disposal,” Kardell said. “Additionally, the DEP asked for a radiation survey of the area where these wastes were disposed.
“The results of our survey did not indicate any levels that would prohibit safe disposal in West Virginia or Pennsylvania,” Kardell added. “We believe there is no environmental impact.”
Gillenwater said the emergency regulations would expedite radiation detection requirements provided for in House Bill 107…

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