Residents outraged over radiation testing

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Radiation testing near downtown Youngstown has both activists and many Youngstown residents outraged.

Several people spoke in opposition to the testing at a Youngstown City Council meeting on Wednesday.

A temporary authorization license allowing radiation testing and on-site storage at 240 Sinter Court near downtown Youngstown is what caused the unrest.

“We need to have local control over what kind of businesses come into our city,” said Sue Beiersdorfer of Frack Free Mahoning County.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources signed off on the six-month authorization. It allows Pennsylvania company Austin Master Services to possess, store and ship radioactive material and handle other toxic chemicals at the Youngstown facility.

Beiersdorfer is against it and said that she and others were not notified before the state granted the license.

“We are appealing to the Oil and Gas Commission because we were not notified of it,” said Beiersdorfer.

Ohioans have the right to appeal decisions like this. However, Youngstown Mayor John McNally said the city feels handling the radiation material at the facility is being done properly.

“Our fire chief has reviewed it, our Haz-Mat leadership has reviewed it, so we’re comfortable with what’s going on,” said McNally.

Austin Master Services indicated the process they use is safe. However, when we tried to get comment from the company, they ignored those requests.

Safety and health concerns have been acknowledged by the city.

“There’s no evidence that any of the environmental concerns that these folks are rightly concerned about have come to fruition at all at this point in time,” said McNally.

The authorization license for the facility is only good for six months. Any waste with an acceptable level of radiation can be taken to any Ohio EPA permitted landfill.

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