DENVER — The Latest on radioactive waste disposal in Colorado (all times local):
Colorado officials say a contradiction in state laws means that some types of low-level radioactive waste are being buried in landfills that aren’t approved to handle it.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday the Legislature needs to change the laws. The department is asking landfill operators, industries and local governments if they would support a change.
The problem was first reported by The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/2xtIiwR ).
The department says it doesn’t know how much of the waste is involved but does not believe it is an imminent threat to public health.
The department says the waste is material that is naturally radioactive and has been used or disturbed by an industrial or manufacturing process. Officials say the radioactivity is usually an unwanted component of the material.
Colorado health officials say some low-level radioactive waste from the oil and gas industry has been buried illegally in landfills that aren’t approve to handle it.
The Denver Post reported Friday (http://dpo.st/2xtIiwR) the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment doesn’t know how much of the waste has been buried improperly.
The department says it’s not aware of any imminent health threat. It says landfill operators are required to monitor any water that leaches through their sites.
The energy industry waste can come from sludge captured in filters, pipelines and tanks.
State law requires landfills that accept such waste to take extra precautions including liners and other protective barriers.
The newspaper said it’s unclear whether the health department was taking action against anyone believed to be involved in the improper disposal.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com