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EPA Region 7 to Conduct Removal Action and Radiological Assessment at Beta Chem Lab Facility in Lenexa, Kan.

Release Date: 04/30/2014
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., April 30, 2014) - EPA Region 7 will begin work next week to remove hazardous chemicals and conduct a radiological assessment of the abandoned and seized Beta Chem Laboratory facility at 14410 West 100th Street, in Lenexa, Kan.

Region 7’s On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) and EPA contractors will begin the removal and assessment work on Monday, May 5. EPA anticipates the work could take about four weeks to complete.

Beta Chem previously used the 2,000-square-foot facility, situated in the Noon Industrial Park, for the synthesis of radioactive carbon-14 into pharmaceutical compounds for medical research. Between 2006 and 2012, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) tried to compel the company to attain compliance with its Radioactive Materials License, but the company did not comply.

On October 3, 2013, KDHE seized and secured the lab facility, which was found to contain numerous hazardous materials and substances, including compressed gas cylinders and deteriorated containers of various chemicals. In February 2014, KDHE referred the facility to EPA Region 7’s Superfund Division for further investigation and removal of the hazardous materials.

EPA’s work will occur in two phases. First, OSCs and contractors will address the collection, characterization, segregation and off-site disposal of containers of hazardous substances present at the site. The second phase will include an assessment of the nature and extent of non-containerized hazardous substances, including radiological contamination. Preliminary screening of soils at the back door of the lab facility has detected beta radiation at elevated levels.

Under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund law, EPA may take removal actions to abate, prevent, minimize, stabilize, mitigate or eliminate the release or threat of release of hazardous materials when the Agency determines there is a threat to public health or welfare or the environment.

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