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EPA Will Address Contamination at Coastal Radiation Site in St. Gabriel, Louisiana

Release Date: 9/16/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mobilized to begin an environmental cleanup of radiation contaminated soils at the Coastal Radiation Services (CRS) site in St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

      "It's important that we remove all pathways for human exposure from the soil in and around the site so that the community is protected," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

      The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is participating in the cleanup with EPA by providing laboratory and community relations support during the removal action.

      Hall Bohlinger, Secretary of LDEQ, said, "We are pleased to see the removal of contaminated material initiated at the site and stand ready to participate with EPA in this project."

      Contaminated material will be excavated and transported to a land disposal facility permitted to receive low-level radioactive waste.  EPA is currently preparing the site for excavation activities expected to begin in several weeks.  

      In the late 1970's, a radioactive source leaked on the ground at the site.  Subsequent rainstorms spread the contamination to adjacent properties.  CRS removed about 18 55-gallon drums of contaminated soil from the site and poured a concrete slab over the area in 1979.  CRS continued to remove contaminated soils from the site into the mid-1980's, and went out of business in 1990.

      Concerns remain about residual radiation in the soil at and around the site.  EPA expects to alleviate any remaining health concerns by removing approximately 1820 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 259 cubic yards of debris in the area.  EPA scans have detected no ionizing radiation in nearby residents.

      To be placed on EPA's mailing list for information about the site cleanup, interested parties may call 1-800-533-3508.