Patience Needed with Ten Mile Creek Testing
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
10 August 2015
The revelation last month that testing performed by a West
Virginia University research group showed radiation levels in Ten
Mile Creek well below federal environmental standards should have
come as a welcome relief to residents living in the Mon Valley.
Instead, it became a catalyst for more questions to be raised
about how and, more importantly, when the testing samples were
taken to determine if there is an issue with the creek that feeds
into the Monongahela River between Clarksville and Fredericktown.
The Izaak Walton League environmental organization immediately
dismissed the findings and then began questioning the unreleased
results the state Department of Environmental Protection is
preparing to make public later this month. The DEP and WVU
research group both took samples in mid-June when the creek was
flowing at a more voluminous rate than average, which the Izaak
Walton League argues will ultimately dilute the findings.
There may be merit to that argument, but why are environmental
advocates dismissing a test before even seeing the results?
The DEP took extensive samples at 13 separate sites June 22 and 23
by collecting nearly three-dozen samples of water, soil, foliage
and aquatic life along the creek. This action was prompted after
the DEP found elevated levels of radiation last year during less
The community is anxiously awaiting the results of these new tests
to learn if the water, which feeds the Tri-County Water Authority
along the Monongahela River, is safe for drinking and recreation.
The two-month wait might be too long for some, but it is important
that DEP does its due diligence and gets the most accurate results
Regardless of the outcome, it would still be wise for the DEP and
many other organizations that have a vested interest in the
situation to continue testing Ten Mile Creek at different times of
the year to ensure the most accurate results.
The community and local environmental leaders should remain
vigilant and demand explanations regarding the testing results.
But the fact that the testing is being disputed before anyone even
learns the results is disconcerting. Let’s wait and see what
exactly the findings are before dissecting them.