UPDATE: CHFS seeking civil penalties for radioactive waste dumping
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS,) has announced it is seeking what it calls “significant” civil penalties in connection to the disposal of radioactive waste at landfills in Estill and Greenup counties.
“The Cabinet intends to impose the harshest civil penalties available under the law against all those responsible for the illegal dumping of waste in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “We will not tolerate any actions that threaten the health and well-being of our citizens.”
The disposal of the waste was first discovered back in January, when the West Virginia Radiological Health Program notified CHFS about illicit out-of-state dumping by Advanced TENORM Services, LLC. Penalties are also aimed at Fairmont Brine.
In addition to imposing penalties, CHFS says they are monitoring and testing exposed areas, performing dose assessments of workers at the landfill, and evaluating the potential for future exposure from the material.
Citing insufficient evidence, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced on Friday that, after a four-month investigation, no criminal charges will be filed in the disposal of radioactive waste at the Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill Co.
The Attorney General did make the distinction that though criminal charges would not be pursued, he believes civil laws were broken.
“Because of these flagrant violations and reckless disregard for the safety of the community, my office sought the necessary statutory consent from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to pursue damages and penalties to the fullest extent of the law,” Beshear said. “The cabinet declined our request, but has stated it plans to pursue such penalties on its own.”
Beshear said his office will provide any support requested by the cabinet from his office’s investigation.