Spill site is free of radioactive waste, says Corridor Resources
A resource company says it has cleaned up 3,000 litres of material containing a low-level radioactive substance it spilled while drilling for natural gas in the Sussex area in August.
The material that Corridor spilled is called frac sand and isused to fill rock fissures when drilling for natural gas. Frac sand contains some low-level radioactive isotopes.
The spill occurred Aug. 23 at a drill site on land belonging to a family in Penobsquis, said Corridor presidentNorm Miller.
"It was cleaned up immediately under strict supervision by the Environment Department and no risk of any significance to any personnel," said Miller.
The company buried the material temporarily on another landowner's property, he said.
According to federal regulations, the frac sand must be buried under at least 30 centimetres of soil to be neutralized.
Woman says waste dumped in open pit
However, Beth Nixon,who lives nearby, said the company didn't dispose of the frac sand properly, and instead threw it into anexisting open pit.
"It's not buried because I've never seen this pit any deeper," she said. "There is a little bit more sand in it at one end than there had been previously, but I can't see that there's been any substantial change."
An official with the Department of Environment said it has never had to deal with a radioactive spill before. It has handed the case over to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
A spokesman for the commission said the company stated that it had disposed of the substance properly, but it hasn't verified this claim by visiting the site.