Questions Remain with Ten Mile Creek Testing
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
20 December 2015
The report released last week by the state Department of
Environmental Protection showing radiation levels within the
normal range at Ten Mile Creek should be welcome news to the area
and its residents.
There have been growing concerns about potential contamination of
the creek for nearly two years since DEP took rudimentary samples
at three locations showing elevated radiation levels.
DEP said those preliminary results used only “basic laboratory
methodology” and more extensive testing was needed to determine if
a problem existed. Those newer results, taken from water,
vegetation, soil and aquatic life samples around the Clyde Mine
treatment facility near Clarksville in June, showed the creek is
not contaminated, which should put the public at ease.
Why the first round of testing in April 2014 indicated such high
levels of radiation is worthy of concern. The initial results were
so shocking it still raises alarming questions if there is some
validity to those original tests.
Could the environment – or more importantly, what was done to it –
have changed in the 15 months between the two tests? Or were the
initial tests results simply erroneous?
We may never know the answer to that question, but it would be
prudent for the DEP to continue to monitor the situation with
periodic tests in the future.
Though the creek samples from June came back clean, there was
still an issue with sludge found at the Clyde Mine’s treatment
facility that did show higher levels of radiation. The DEP report
states this sludge is not a threat to public health or
environmental safety, but it will perform more tests and continue
to monitor the situation.
The recent news is good for Ten Mile Creek, but DEP must remain
vigilant to ensure the public’s safety.