DEP finishing up Ten Mile Creek radiation report

December 3, 2015
A view of Ten Mike Creek entering the Monongahela River off Route 88 near Fredericktown - Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

State environmental regulators are “putting the finishing touches” on a report that will shed light on whether there is an issue with radioactivity in Ten Mile Creek.

The Department of Environmental Protection originally hoped to release the report in early September, but results are now expected to be made public later this month, at the earliest.

Neil Shader, a DEP spokesman from the department’s central office in Harrisburg, said there is no specific reason for the delay other than regulators wanted to ensure the information was presented accurately and clearly to the public.

“We have the results and are putting the finishing touches on the report. We should be ready to roll them out before the end of the year,” Shader said. “We wanted to make sure we got the data right and the analysis correct.”

Concerns were first raised last year about potential radiation around the discharge area of the abandoned Clyde Mine near Clarksville.

The state agency conducted testing at 13 separate sites on June 22 and 23 that collected nearly three-dozen samples of water, soil, foliage and aquatic life along the creek. The DEP’s mining program took preliminary samples at three sites last year that showed elevated radiation levels, prompting the more stringent testing this year.

DEP officials previously said they expected the results to be released in late summer.

“I know there has been a lot of interest about this,” Shader said.

An independent organization, West Virginia Water Research Institute, took samples just days after the DEP and released its finding in July that showed radioactive levels were barely present and well below federal regulations for safe drinking water.

The Izaak Walton League, which initially alerted DEP of concerns with radioactive levels, has taken issue with the dates both the DEP and West Virginia research group took the samples when the creek swelled due to heavy rain. The environmental group sent a letter to DEP Secretary John Quigley requesting an investigation into the sample taken on June 22.

Izaak Walton League President Ken DuFalla could not be reached for comment.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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