City Council meeting minutes reveal BA city leaders knew about toxic waste since 2017

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Broken Arrow city leaders have known about the radioactive site near Kenosha Street since 2017, according to minutes from a city council meeting.

At the time site developers were working to get approval from the Broken Arrow City Council to rezone the property. The rezoning would allow anyone developing on the site could carefully do so around the radioactive area. Even back in 2017, no one knew where the waste came from.

At this point, it’s a mystery the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still trying to solve.

Councilors and residents voiced their concerns over potential for runoff and environmental impact.

The team of site developers said it there would be no developments on the land. But no one knew at the time that there was far more waste than originally thought.

The council approved the rezoning at the time.

FOX23 first broke the story that the EPA has discovered thousands more tons, possibly more than 50,000 tons of radioactive waste and are working to get it covered with clay.

U.S. House Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) was surprised to find out about the site this week.

He said, “I know our team is checking into it as well to get the updates, the source, what is going on, how can we help how do we need to get engaged with the EPA to make sure this is a top priority.”

The EPA said the area is considered a Superfund Removal Site, but it does not classify as a Superfund Site on the National Priorities List. The EPA explained that the site doesn’t meet the qualifications because it is far less complex than other superfund sites.

We spoke with Nicholas Hayman, director of Oklahoma Geological Survey at the University of Oklahoma (OU) about the potential, long-term impact of the radioactive chemicals He said people should not be overly concerned now.

“If it is there, and it is safe and secure, it is not bothering anyone,” Hayman said. “But you don’t [want] people going into and playing in it and playing football or anything until it is deep enough and buried enough.”

He continued, “It is important people have a reasonable response to this and don’t panic that they are over some radioactive hot zone. But it is something to take seriously.”

Carolyn Conner has owned a salon across the street from the site since 1981. She said she is not worried too much and plans wait and see to see what is found. However, she said she did notice workers at the site within the last few days.

“Then I saw some guys out here with little things going around,” Conner told FOX23. “[I] went out there, and he was up [at the site]. And I said, ‘What are you doing out here?’ And he said, ‘I am checking to see if there is any radioactivity out here.’”

Sediment and water samples from a nearby area were taken to see if there have been longer term impacts. Those results are expected in the coming days or weeks.

This is a developing story.