Kentucky Officials Slow to Respond to Warning from W.Va. on Radioactive Waste

Apr 15, 2016

Emails obtained by a newspaper show that it took months for Kentucky regulators to take action after getting a tip that low-level nuclear waste was being shipped to a landfill.

Landfill example.
Credit Ropable / Wikimedia Commons

The emails, which were obtained by The Courier-Journal through West Virginia's open records act, give new details on how Kentucky officials first learned about the radioactive shipments and how they responded.

According to the emails, a West Virginia bureaucrat tipped off a Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services worker in July. Officials with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet were notified the same day.

Seven months later state officials issued a warning to landfill operators and ordered the company hauling the waste to stop.

The newspaper reports agency officials pointed fingers at each other when asked about a lack of response in July.