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Gert Town Louisiana Contamination: Radium-226

New Orleans Communications Director Beau Tidwell's full statement:
Our utmost priority is ensuring the safety of our residents.  Last year, the Cantrell Administration learned about the presence of underground material producing radiation below the road surface at the intersection of Lowerline Street and Coolidge Court.  The origin of the material is unknown and while it has been properly contained since being identified, it is now being removed out of an abundance of caution.  
After learning about the contamination, the City and its maintenance contractor engaged Baton Rouge-based ARS Aleut Remediation (AAR) in December 2018 to remove and dispose of what had been identified as a small amount of hazardous material located beneath the surface of the Lowerline Street and Coolidge Court intersection.  During the course of this work, the team, which also included the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, discovered that the contamination area was larger than originally anticipated and would need to be addressed as part of a subsequent effort.  
Since that time, the City has been working alongside the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to develop a plan to address the contamination area on Lowerline Street between Olive and Edinburgh streets.  Furthermore, multiple scientists and experts were consulted to ensure that there was no current risk of acute exposure or health concerns, and that remediation work would be conducted with the lowest risk possible.
In advance of the start of this work, representatives from the City's Health Department and the Department of Public Works canvassed within a five block radius of the location to talk with residents and distribute information about the existing hazards, and what to expect during the removal process.  

The removal and disposal plan ensures the safety of residents, workers and the environment during and following the removal.  Representatives from EPA, LDEQ and the City will be onsite throughout operations to answer questions and be sure that any possible exposure is below the established limits. Crew members are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including disposable coveralls and gloves is necessary to limit their exposure.  
Work began on Tuesday, May 28 and will take about three weeks to complete.  Crews have completed excavating Pthe site, removing all of the underground material and placing it in large containers.  Pending test results, the containers will be moved to either Utah or New Mexico. Repaving will begin Monday and is anticipated to be complete by the end of next week. 





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Gert Town Louisiana Contamination: Radium-226 - HHD - 07-02-2019, 10:08 AM

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