83°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

State to present investigation results on US Ecology fire

Officials will present findings from the investigation into the October industrial fire at the US Ecology site at meetings in Amargosa Valley and Beatty on Monday.

Nye County Emergency Management Director Vance Payne said the Nevada Division of Emergency Management (NDEM) had asked Nye County officials to coordinate town hall meetings.

Caleb Cage, chief of Nevada Division of Emergency Management, Pete Mulvihill, chief of the Nevada Fire Marshall’s Office and Jon Bakkedahl, supervisor of the Nevada Radioactive Material Program will provide a summary of the investigation to the public. Officials will also have a question-and-answer session following the presentation.

Payne on Thursday said that he was “anxious” for the meetings.

“A lot of hours went into that investigation, but most important is that the state of Nevada will allow the public to interact with the information,” Payne said.

Bakkedahl said officials will discuss the emergency phase, the investigation phase and the current up-to-date repairs as well as future plans for quoting and hiring contractors for repairs to the site.

“We are planning on being transparent on the steps taken to this point and answer questions about our processes and the goals of our program to analyze, engineer and repair the site,” Bakkedahl said in an email. “Finally, the site has gone through several steps of repairs; currently the cap has received all interim repairs and continues to have frequent site inspections.

In a press release on Dec. 30, officials said that the industrial fire at the state-owned radioactive waste disposal site located on U.S. Highway 95 approximately 12 miles south of Beatty was caused by a chemical reaction between rainwater and sodium metal in the trench area where low-radioactive waste had been buried.

Officials said the investigation had found corrosion of the steel drums containing the metallic sodium allowed packaging fluid to seep out, leaving the metallic sodium exposed to the underground elements. Heavy rainfall seeped into the ground and reached the metallic sodium through a compromised cover causing the fire.

The 80-acre industrial site in Nye County consists of a 40-acre low-level radiological waste storage site and a 40-acre active chemical processing facility. The site was operated by US Ecology and its predecessor, Nuclear Engineering Co. from 1962 through 1992.

The meetings will take place at the Amargosa Valley Community Center, located at 821 East Amargosa Farm Road in Amargosa Valley from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Beatty Community Center, located at 100 A Avenue South in Beatty from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both meetings are scheduled for Monday.

The meetings are free and open to the public.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Face mask backers urge Board of Regents to make them mandatory for all

Proponents of face masks on college campuses this fall on Friday urged the Nevada Board of Regents to go beyond a mandate for employees OK’d by the Clark County Commission.

Adam Sullivan confirmed as Nevada State Engineer

After serving as “acting” Nevada state engineer and administrator of the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) for the past seven months, Adam Sullivan has now been confirmed in those positions, with his official appointment reported in a press release issued Tuesday, July 20.

Pahrump Back to School Fair set for July 31

It is once again that time of year when parents and students must turn their thoughts to the coming school term and begin preparing for another nine months of academic endeavors. With the 2021-2022 school year set to begin on Tuesday, August 10 in Nye County, in an effort to help ensure that area families are ready to send their children back to the classroom, be it virtual or in person, the NyE Communities Coalition is now gearing up for its annual Back to School Fair.

Nye County opposing NASA land proposal

In Nevada, mining is a major industry, bringing in millions of dollars in taxes every year and employing thousands of workers in high-paying positions that help support the local economy but much of the mining operations in the Silver State rely on access to federally controlled lands.

Pahrump Lions take audiences on emotional journey with “Love Letters”

It was an emotional roller-coaster ride of a weekend for audiences at Sanders Family Winery, who were treated to two nights of theatrical entertainment from the Pahrump Valley Lions Club with the A.R. Gurney play “Love Letters”.

Suspect arrested after armed standoff

At least three Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies are recovering from minor injuries after a tense standoff with an armed suspect.

Conversations with Nevada AG Ford continues

Some of the country’s most vulnerable populations are children and the elderly and it is just these populations that will be the subject of the next segment in a series of public outreach sessions from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, which will continue its Conversations with AG Ford initiative this coming Wednesday.

 
Nevada riding hot streak of record gaming numbers. But will it last?

The statewide gaming win topped $1 billion for March, April and May — with May setting an all-time monthly high as casinos brought in $1.23 billion. COVID-19, however, remains a concern.