ARLINGTON, Ore. — A chemical waste landfill near the Columbia River in Oregon accepted hundreds of tons of radioactive fracking waste from North Dakota in violation of Oregon regulations that has alarmed environmental advocates. But the company won’t be fined because state officials believe landfill operators misunderstood state guidelines, authorities said.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that Oregon Department of Energy officials on Thursday issued a violation notice to Chemical Waste Management for its landfill near the small town of Arlington for accepting a total of 2 million pounds of Bakken oil field waste delivered by rail in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Arlington is about 140 miles east of Portland.
With landfill officials’ permission, a Montana company dumped the waste, some of which registered radium at 300 times the state’s limits. On average, the waste dumped at the landfill about eight miles from the Columbia River registered radium at 140 picocuries per gram, according to Jeff Burright, a state nuclear waste remediation specialist.
Picocuries are a measure of radioactivity and the state’s maximum level for