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EPA Statement 5-7-2014

Post Date:05/07/2014
May 7, 2014, EPA Region 7

EPA to Conduct Radiation Screening at BMAC

Today, Bridgeton Mayor Conrad Bowers announced that EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks has initiated preparations to conduct radiation screening at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex (BMAC) starting the week of May 19, 2014. During the course of the past week, Dr. Brooks and Mayor Bowers held a series of conversations about bringing in the EPA’s technical and scientific experts to conduct radiation screening at BMAC.

In making his decision, Dr. Brooks concluded that while all validated data available to the agency support continued use of the site, EPA should do the screening in the interest of resolving public concerns generated by residents using donated radiation detection equipment. In a May 3 editorial the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted there are considerable questions over “the quality of testing by Bridgeton residents that led to the latest outcry.”

EPA doesn’t know if the instrument used by the individuals was calibrated or operating properly; we don’t know if trained people were operating the instrument; we don’t know if a quality assurance project plan was used or if standard operating procedures were followed. These factors affect the usability of the information. The EPA’s decision to screen reflects its interest in ensuring the scientific integrity of information used by the public to make decisions about activities in Bridgeton as it relates to the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site.

While EPA balances many competing demands each day one thing that tips the scale in every case is the agency’s responsibility to protect public health using validated scientific inquiry and exacting engineering standards.
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