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EPA Completes Radiation Screening at Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex in Bridgeton, Mo.

Release Date: 05/23/2014
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, 913-551-7364 washburn.ben@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., May 23, 2014) - Radiation screening experts from EPA Region 7 and Region 5 have completed the radiation screening of the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex (BMAC) in Bridgeton, Mo. The screening began on Monday, May 19.

The EPA screening of the 70-acre park collected data from 60,000 points along 45 miles of transecting lines. Three field survey teams worked in concert transecting the entire complex. Using global positioning systems and detection instruments, the teams screened for gamma radiation and also collected more than 100 soil samples for laboratory testing for thorium, radium and uranium. Using the coordinates provided by the citizens who conducted sampling using donated equipment several weeks ago, the EPA teams also were able to collect samples from those same locations.

The teams also conducted background reference screening and soil sampling at two parks (Blanchette and Koch), which are located about four miles from BMAC. These background levels are important because radiation occurs naturally in our environment. The background levels will serve as benchmarks for comparing the radiation levels at BMAC to determine if any readings there would be considered above background level that would be expected in that geographic area.

“The speed and thoroughness with which our experts from EPA Region 7 and Region 5 completed the screening demonstrates this Agency’s responsiveness to community concerns,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “In less than a week, our experts have collected readings at more than 60,000 data points while traversing 45 total miles, plus collected more than 100 soil samples in order to provide definitive, scientifically valid data about the usability of the facility.”

"EPA appreciates the City of Bridgeton's cooperation that enabled the Agency to promptly complete this phase of our scientific work," Brooks said.

The preliminary data from the screening will be subject to rigorous quality-control and quality-assurance procedures to ensure the accuracy and validity of the data. The soil samples will be sent to a qualified laboratory for analysis. Results of the quality-controlled, quality-assured screening and soil samples should be available within 30 to 60 days.

EPA Region 7 will make final results of the screening activity available to the public, both online at its website and through social and news media.

"This Agency maintains its position when we started this screening program that all scientifically validated data known to EPA and the State of Missouri confirm that BMAC remains suitable for use," Brooks said.

“If any further response is necessary, based on what the scientifically validated data tell us," Brooks said, "we are prepared to work with the City to take appropriate action."

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