Jerry Schoeppner of NMED, at a one-on-one meeting last week with Homestake-area residents, said the lack of documentation makes it more difficult to determine which contamination is background, which is coming from Homestake, and which is coming from other nearby uranium operations.
Schoeppner, along with Andy Dudley of the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Sai Appaji of EPA Region 6 in Dallas spoke with residents about the sampling of private wells downgradient of the Homestake Uranium Mill Superfund Site.
Though uranium was exceeded in two of the wells being used as primary sources of drinking water, Schoeppner
said none of the residents have been supplied with an alternative water source.
Unfortunately, there are gaps in the data after 1975, according to Schoeppner
New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission regulations for background radiation state that any operator that contributes any kind of contamination is responsible for that contamination, Schoeppner
"We're waiting for the word from ATSDR," Schoeppner
said, "but also, in order for us to force any operator to buy an alternate water supply, we have to have justification, and that justification comes in our argument to prove that it's coming from that site.