FLORISSANT, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of St. Louis spent the week collecting dozens of samples at Jana Elementary School after a report of radioactive contamination at the school.
Environmental investigation consultants recently pointed out radioactive contamination at the North St. Louis County. The findings come in a recent report from Boston Chemical Data Corporation, one that gained national spotlight in mid-October.
According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis, the school and Coldwater Creek samples were not tested in a way that was consistent with their regulations. As a result, the team wanted to retest through its procedures to ensure the accuracy of the radioactive waste contamination.
“Public safety is our top priority,” said Col. Kevin Golinghorst, St. Louis District commander. “Our team has the right expertise and experience to complete this work.”
The Army Corps performed structure surveys and soil samples over the last several weeks. Structure investigations were completed Friday, while soil investigations began Wednesday. Preliminary results in those investigations could be available in around two weeks.
The structural investigations consisted of scanning accessible surfaces and fixed-point measurements with radiation detection instruments. As part of the soil investigations, samples from at least 45 different locations will be analyzed with depths ranging from 15 to 28 feet below the surface.
“We are making steady progress in our structure and soil investigations across the entire property,” said Golinghorst. “We owe it to the public and the parents, children and staff of Jana Elementary School to make informed decisions and take effective actions using accurate data.”
Concerns about radioactive contamination at Jana Elementary increased after Coldwater Creek flooded back in July amid record-breaking rainfall in the St. Louis region.
While it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of contamination, radioactive waste has inhabited the St. Louis region for decades. In the 1940s, St. Louis had a site dedicated to The Manhattan Project, a code name for the American-led effort to develop a functional atomic weapon during World War II, a process leading to tons of chemical waste.
Jana Elementary closed last week after findings from the Boston Chemical Data Corporation were revealed. The school has shifted to virtual learning for an undisclosed amount of time as samples are being analyzed.