Depleted Uranium, Other Hazardous Materials Removed From Gulfport Site - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/21/05

Depleted Uranium, Other Hazardous Materials Removed From Gulfport Site

Environmental officials say radioactive materials were illegally abandoned in Gulfport. But right now it's not clear if any criminal or civil action will be taken.

Thursday, a company out of Baton Rouge removed hazardous materials, including depleted uranium, from the old Irby Steel site in Gulfport.

DEQ Emergency Responder Earl Etheridge stumbled across the containers Wednesday after being called out for an oil spill there. He said the materials were left behind by the previous owner.

Also on Thursday, crews removed two other containers of hazardous materials from Struthers Industries on 34th street. Etheridge said the same owner illegally abandoned them as well.

"The owner of the material is responsible to protect and safeguard the material for their disposal. The State Health Department will be going to talk with the owner about reimbursing the state for expenses spent out here disposing of the material," Etheridge said.

Etheridge said tests show no threat to public health, but because the materials were left unguarded, anyone could have discovered them and hauled them off.

Meanwhile officials with the state health department told WLOX News they're conducting an investigation along with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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