by Isabelle Z., Natural News:
Most of us want to think of our homes and schools as safe places where families can pass time with minimal exposure to danger. Unfortunately, some residents and school students in Irvine, Kentucky, have suddenly found themselves in an environment more akin to Chernobyl than Appalachian Kentucky.
Denny and Vivian Smith live in the idyllic Estill County town situated near the Kentucky River on property that has belonged to their ancestors since the 1800s. Last August, the area was descended upon by a convoy of trucks that were transporting concentrated fracking waste from northern West Virginia to the Blue Ridge Landfill.
The trucks brought 400 tons of low-level radioactive waste to the facility, which is not permitted to accept this type of waste.
The landfill’s other neighbors? Estill County Middle School and Estill County High School, which have a combined enrollment of 1,200 public school students.
Neighbors and parents are outraged, and the community is demanding to know how this could have happened. State agencies are also asking a lot of questions.
Poor federal oversight and inconsistent state regulations
One big part of the problem is the poor and inconsistent federal oversight and mess of state regulations governing this kind of waste. There is no single government agency completely responsible for radioactive waste from horizontal oil and gas operations, leading the Center for Public Integrity to call it “orphan waste.”
Therefore, each state must figure out how to deal with. It. New York, for example, has banned fracking, but it does still allow waste disposal with very weak overnight. Meanwhile, Ohio has not formalized waste rules at all.
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