Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

EPA to host Pines Superfund site meeting Tuesday

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold an information session on Feb. 9 about the Yard 520 landfill, a Superfund site in the town of Pines.

The EPA, to be joined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, will give an update on site activities. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Dunes Baptist Church, 4486 W. U.S. 20, Michigan City.

PINES, the citizen group that has been closely monitoring the landfill, said it has voiced concerns to the EPA about the presence of radiation in the 1.5 million tons of coal combustion waste located at Yard 520.

PINES said that all coal contains naturally occurring radioactive materials that are not destroyed or altered by coal’s transformation to fly ash. Data collected for the Yard 520 cleanup shows fly ash radium measurements exceeding the radioactive soil cleanup criteria commonly used by the EPA, PINES said.

PINES said no data for Yard 520 exists for radiation levels in home drinking water and that the EPA should have collected data directly from homes to determine if radiation added to the chemical hazards. The risk from Yard 520 has focused on chemical contaminants in drinking water.

The PINES group said it walked many roads in the town last October with a radiation meter and found radiation levels at least twice the background levels where fly ash was believed to be dispersed. PINES has used the experience of a retired Region 5 EPA Superfund radiation expert and radiation risk assessor to project the human health risk from fly ash contaminated soils and found that the levels appear to exceed the upper limits of EPA’s Superfund acceptable risk range.

“As Region 5 USEPA conducts its Yard 520 risk assessment and its anticipated cleanup it must recognize radiation as a significant aspect of these actions,” PINES says in a press release.




Posted 2/3/2010




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