Brookside Officials Join Concerned Ohio River Residents Group’s Request for EPA Testing | News, Sports, Jobs


picture by: Carri Graham

Beverly Reed, a member of the Ohio River Concerned Residents advocacy group, speaks to the Brookside Village Council about the results of a soil sample survey conducted by the organization that found high levels of radium in several areas outside the Austin Master Services Frac Waste Recycling Plant at Martins Traversier. Reed asked the council to sign a letter urging the USUS Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a site inspection.

BROOKSIDE — After hearing from members of the Concerned Ohio River Residents group, Brookside Mayor Rich Kurner and village council members each signed a letter urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inspect the ground near from Austin Master Services’ frac waste recycling plant.

CORR member Beverly Reed met with council on Monday evening and distributed the results of a recent soil sample survey the organization carried out near the Martins Ferry football ground and sewage treatment plant. The results showed elevated levels of radium-226 and other radioisotopes. She said the group is concerned about contaminants entering the community’s drinking water.

“It’s a concern because of the waste that has been mismanaged in the area. I just wanted to let you all know about this,” she told council members.

Reed said CORR sent test results to several agencies, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio EPA, U.S. EPA and the Ohio Department of Health. ‘Ohio.

“The results were concerning. They were like 10 times the background radiation level, so there’s radium in the ground on the ground where it explodes and can impact the community. And while it doesn’t affect us here at Brookside, it could end up getting to the aquifer, especially if there’s a disaster – a fire or a flood. Over time it might build up more and more, which is why we’re trying to nip that in the bud now,” she said.

Reed said the agencies pushed the issue on each other with none “stepping in to really regulate things.” To encourage the US EPA to inspect the area, she said CORR was collecting signatures.

“The US EPA can come in and do an inspection of the whole facility and see what the real threat to our aquifer is,” she said.

Reed asked board members to sign a letter the group plans to send to the US EPA. Kurner, who had already read the letter before the meeting, signed the document.

Councilman Roger Stewart asked what Reed wanted the council to do.

“Apart from making our concerns known, there is not much more we can do,” he added.

Reed said CORR members hope the letter will prompt the US EPA to come to the area for an inspection. She said she and her father, Rob, recently met with the US EPA Region 5 administrator, who said she would review the information collected by CORR. Region 5 covers Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and 35 tribes.

“Basically what we’re asking all of you to do is help us inspire them to do it. The US EPA is slow, they take a long time to get things done, and we want them to come sooner than a year from now,” she said, adding that the letter only asked for an investigation. “The letter does not ask them to close businesses or anything like that. It only requires investigation and environmental testing.

After some further discussion, council members circulated the letter, adding their names to the list of signatures.

Rob Reed, also a member of CORR, added that the group works to educate and engage residents.

“We’re not trying to misrepresent or raise alarms that really aren’t there. All we want is for these people to come and do their jobs and protect our health,” he said. declared.

Later in the meeting, Stewart raised the issue raised by CORR.

“If you stop and think what they’re talking about, it’s our water supply. Our water wells have already been shut down because there was something else we were drinking,” he said of Bridgeport water wells containing PFAS in 2020, which resulted in the closure of well.

“There are a lot of people getting this water, not just Martins Ferry.”

Kurner agreed, adding that it was a “scary” situation. He said he attended a previous meeting in Adena where he listened to the scientist who helped CORR with the soil sample results talk about the issue.

“What worries them is that the trucks come in and out (of the factory) and that the materials are on the tires, therefore outside the factory. What worries them is that if we have a big storm or heavy rain, the storm drains there are all clogged up and all that water is going to come out…” he said. “What they want is for the trucks to be cleaned before they leave the building, and they don’t clean the trucks.”

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