Snyder: Exhaustive water analyses under way

Tests sought by lawmaker to provide answers about radiation reports

HARRISBURG, July 21 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, today said in-depth water analyses that she requested soon should provide answers to reports of elevated radiation levels in Ten Mile Creek in Greene County.

“The state Department of Environmental Protection responded promptly to my request for thorough testing throughout the immediate watershed,” Snyder said. “The health and safety of local residents is paramount, and the analyses soon should begin providing answers to the many questions surrounding the initial reports about heightened radiation levels.”

Snyder said 35 samples collected last month from 13 sites, including from water, vegetation, sediment, soil and fish are being tested at DEP laboratories.

“The analyses will include more precise methodologies than were previously employed and cited in the initial reports,” Snyder said.  “Everyone is anxious for definitive answers, and the testing results, expected in August, should begin replacing much of the speculation with solid information.”

Snyder said the DEP testing ranged upstream and downstream from the both the Tri-County Joint Municipal Water Authority plant and the Clyde Mine Treatment Facility.

“The testing should provide key scientific markers as to the extent of any problem as well as any cause,” said Snyder, who has been meeting frequently with DEP officials since the reports first surfaced. “Protecting Ten Mile Creek and the people who depend on it for water -- as well as the stream’s aesthetic benefits -- remain the overarching priority.”

Snyder, who noted that an independent study by West Virginia Water Research Institute also is under way, said residents are rightfully alarmed about the reports.

“It’s difficult to be patient when the safety of water supplies is called into question,” said Snyder, who said she will keep residents apprised of developments. “However, we need to get this right and deal with it in a responsible manner.”