Radioactive waste plan causes a stir in Estill County

ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- People in Estill County discussed the future of a nearby landfill Monday night that has been at the center of a controversy after it was discovered radioactive waste was illegally dumped there years ago.

The aim of this meeting was to educate people on a proposed state plan that would keep the radioactive waste that was illegally dumped into the blue ridge landfill back in 2015 in place.

Supporters of the proposal say keeping the waste where it is is the safer options because it limits direct exposure to the waste.

But many people in Estill County aren’t so sure of that, saying keeping the waste here in a landfill not built to store that type of waste could pose long term risks to the county’s overall health and instead is asking the waste be removed and shipped to a more capable landfill.

“It’s ridiculous to think that there’s not going to be any long term negative impact particularly to our drinking water since the Kentucky river is 110 feet below the landfill and only 3000 feet away from the landfill,” said Craig Williams with the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.

“The risk analysis showed that that was a very low concern. That there was one point 2700 years into the future where maybe an exceed of the cancer risk standard in Kentucky. But that was one hit 2700 years into the future,” said Mary Cromer with Concerned Citizens of Estill County.

The proposal is still under review by the state.

The Concerned Citizens of Estill County have not yet declared which side of the plan they stand on but encourage anyone wanting to share their opinion send a written comment to the state

The deadline for public comment is february eleventh.

Comments can be sent in writing to Jeff Cummins, director of the Division of Enforcement, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort Ky. 40601 or by email to

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