UPDATE: Feds release data on air quality near closed Ohio school

By  | 

WAVERLY, Ohio (WSAZ) - UPDATE: 05/22/19 10:15 AM

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has ordered his agency to release more than four years' worth of data from air monitors near a Pike County, Ohio, school where trace amounts of radioactive material were discovered.

Perry said the data from 2015 through the first quarter of this year comes from six air-monitoring stations on Energy Department property and 10 in the surrounding southern Ohio community.

Perry told Gov. Mike DeWine in a letter on Monday that the data was provided to Pike County authorities, the state Department of Health and the state Environmental Protection Agency.

Zahn's Corner Middle School was closed last week while more tests are done and health impacts are evaluated.

The school is several miles from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which produced enriched uranium until 2001.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

An Ohio middle school has closed its doors after radioactive materials were detected inside and outside of the school.

The Scioto Valley Local School District decided to close Zahns Corner Middle School after enriched uranium was detected inside of it.

This comes less than three weeks after another radioactive material, Neptunium 237, was detected by a U.S. Department of Energy air monitor located near the middle school.

In a letter to parents and staff, the Scioto Valley Local School District said the school will remain closed "until the source, extent, level of contamination, and potential impacts to public health and the environment can be determined."

The letter also said the enriched uranium and Neptunium are "contaminants of concern by the U.S. Department of Energy on the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant property," which is located near the middle school.

The Scioto Valley Local Schools District said it worked with the Pike County Health Department to make this decision.

School officials said they think it is in the student's best interest to close the school for the remainder of the year.