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The original item was published from 11/17/2015 12:30:48 PM to 12/16/2015 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: November 17, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Nye County Press Release

The industrial fire we experienced on October 18 and 19 this year was an eye opening event and will take many years to thoroughly understand. Meanwhile protective actions are being implemented by the State of Nevada, Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the new U.S. Ecology, Nye County officials, and the Governor’s Office. There are many additional entities participating in concert with the primary partners to affect a path forward.

On October 21 a preliminary site investigation team entered the site to take photographs, measurements and radiation readings in and around the trench site of the industrial fire. Soil and air test readings concluded there were no abnormal readings for radiation.

On November 4th and 5th a second site investigation took place. The investigation began at approximately 7:30 a.m. The first day there were numerous personnel from multiple agencies present to observe and actively participate in various investigative research activities. The site was visually surveyed from all directions and the team recessed to digest the information and conceive a sampling method.

About noon on November 5th agencies from local, state, and federal partners engaged in a re-entry into the cratered trench. Samples of the fifty-five (55) gallon drums that were left exposed after the fire and took measurements of the affected area were field tested. The fifty-five (55) gallon drums that were expelled from the crater during the industrial fire were sampled and returned to the crater by the team. Initial testing revealed the presence of sodium confirming it was interred in this site decades ago.

At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, the crater was covered with a heavy waterproof tarp until it can be properly refilled and resealed.

It was decided a comprehensive assessment of the entire site is being planned and will be implemented in the near future. Additional partners have requested participation in this effort to better identify the contents of the site and ensure the continued safety of the site for the environment and residents of Nye County and the State of Nevada. Governor Sandoval is personally committed to ensuring that all proper actions and efforts lead to a mutually beneficial conclusion. This process is ongoing and will periodically release additional information as it becomes available.

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