Rep. Bart GordonVideo: U.S. Lawmaker Calls For Radioactive DumpingTue May 22, 2007 14:43
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon said even his mother has called him to voice her concerns about the news that low-level radioactive waste has been dumped for years at the Middle Point landfill in Rutherford County.
Video: U.S. Lawmaker Calls For Radioactive Dumping Investigation
Gordon called on the Environmental Protection Agency to take a closer look at the garbage dump in his hometown of Murfreesboro and make sure the air and water is safe.
The Channel 4 I-Team broke the story last week and documented that companies are licensed to process radioactive waste and routinely dump material they consider safe after treatment into ordinary trash landfills.
More than 10 million pounds of radioactive material were dumped at the landfill in 2005 alone.
“It’s material at such low activities that there’s no concern for contamination or exposure. It’s basically rubble (and) not of a radiation hazard," said Eddie Nanney of the Tennessee Radiological Health Department.
Channel 4 obtained new numbers that show other landfills near Knoxville and Memphis also accepted lots of this material but none took in as much radioactive material in a single year as Middle Point.
Gordon said it may be legal, but he said the public should have access to information to determine that it is safe.
The state said this is routinely done all over the country, but only Tennessee has developed a framework for assuring low-level waste is of negligible risk before its accepted.
The state of California has banned radioactive material from its landfills.
Gordon said he hopes to get the EPA to the site in a matter of days to investigate the issue.
* May 15, 2007: Rep Says Radioactive Dumping 'Unacceptable'
* May 14, 2007: Radioactive Dumping Occurs In Rutherford County
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