Ten Mile Creek Testing Results Expected Next Month
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
22 July 2015
By Mike Jones, Greene County Bureau Chief
The results from testing performed last month by the state
Department of Environmental Protection to determine the
radioactive levels in Ten Mile Creek will be released in late
August or early September, an agency official said Wednesday.
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, DEP spokesman John
Concerns were first raised last year about potential radiation
around the discharge area of the abandoned Clyde Mine near
The DEP’s mining program took initial samples at three sites last
year that showed elevated radiation levels, prompting the
environmental agency’s mining bureau to discuss the results with
its radiation detection team. The two teams within DEP then began
working closely to formulate a plan to conduct more extensive
testing along the creek and around the discharge area, Poister
“It was much higher than we had seen,” Poister said of the
radiation readings in the initial round of testing. “The mining
people … are not used to dealing with that, so they sat down with
radiation protection team, which took some time because they
wanted to look at the whole area.”
The DEP said in a written statement other water samples will also
be analyzed for “typical acid mine drainage and Marcellus shale
indicators” using “accepted EPA approved methods” to determine if
Radium 226 and 228 and uranium are present.
Poister said the DEP will review the data to determine if more
sampling is needed and what, if any, further steps should be
The most recent testing was performed both upstream and downstream
from the Clyde Mine Treatment Facility that needed to be repaired
in spring 2013, and the Tri-County Joint Municipal Water Authority
plant near Fredericktown.
State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, said the testing “should
provide key scientific markers as to the extent of any problem”
involving Ten Mile Creek, which feeds into the Monongahela River
and is a major water source for area residents.
“Protecting Ten Mile Creek and the people who depend on it
for water – as well as the stream’s aesthetic benefits – remain
the overarching priority,” Snyder said in a written statement.
“It’s difficult to be patient when the safety of water supplies is
called into question. However, we need to get this right and deal
with it in a responsible manner.”
Representatives from Izaak Walton League of Greene County, which
brought the matter to the attention of the DEP last year, could
not be reached for comment.