by: Brandon Turbeville
Thursday, July 26, 2012
In yet another example of how the nation’s waste management methods are absolutely unsustainable, a long-running debate between two waste disposal companies and a South Carolina environmental regulatory agency regarding the shipping of 300 railcars containing about 60,000 to 78,000 tons worth of radioactive dirt from New Jersey to South Carolina landfills is beginning to heat up yet again.
The waste at issue would be coming from a housing site in Sayreville, New Jersey that is currently being redeveloped and “cleaned up” for future purposes. The soil was originally recovered from an industrial cleanup site by the Raritan River, located south of New York City.
While it is claimed that the majority of the dirt contains “natural radiation,” SC regulators claim that radiation has been “technically enhanced” and has become more concentrated while at the site in New Jersey. This would, of course, cause the material to become more radioactive.
Yet Sayreville Seaport Associates, the company currently housing the contaminated soil, is still determined to outsource its own radioactive garbage to the Lee County, South Carolina dump that sits off of Interstate 20.
Unfortunately for Sayreville, the Lee County garbage dump, which is operated by Republic Services, is not designed for radioactive industrial waste – it is only designed to hold household garbage. Indeed, even the household garbage that it currently holds has become somewhat of a local issue regarding the overwhelming smell caused by the landfill.
With that in mind, it is fortunate that some South Carolina environmentalists and some state lawmakers are opposing the new dumping effort.