NOONAN, N.D. — A radiation team cleaning up an illegal oil field waste dump site in Noonan found an underground cache of the material and labels that are possible evidence of companies that contributed to the mess.
The cleanup was expected to take all day Wednesday, with a crew of six workers in oil-streaked suits and respirators pulling tons of low-level radioactive filter socks from an abandoned gas station in this tiny town near the Canadian border.
The dump was discovered in late February and state and local officials started looking for the culprit and making plans to get the material safely disposed.
The property owner is a criminal fugitive in Wyoming and the state is using its own clean up funds instead of forcing the owner to deal with the situation.
Robert Krumberger, manager for Secure Energy Services, said his workers soon uncovered an underground sump area in the old garage, which also was full of the filter socks. He said he called for additional lined containers and estimated the building contained 60 cubic yards of filter sock waste, instead of the 40 originally estimated.
The $12,500 cleanup cost would increase some as a result, he said. His workers also found some labels and packaging that was turned over to the Divide County Sheriff’s Department, which is continuing to investigate the matter.
Source: Bismarck Tribune, “Cleanup underway in Noonan” Lauren Donovan, April 23, 2014.