Today, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon demanding the Corps investigate reports of radioactive contamination at Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Mo.
In his letter, Senator Hawley demanded the Corps review results of a new private report, conduct further testing on school grounds, and take action to ensure the safety of students at Jana Elementary. Parents of students were not informed of these potential risks until August 2022.
"Hazardous radioactive contamination has no place in schools, and the federal government should be transparent with concerned parents," said Senator Hawley. “I urge you and your team to review the results of the recent private testing immediately, and also immediately to conduct further appropriate testing of the Jana Elementary area— and make the results public.”
Read the full letter here or below:
October 18, 2022
Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon
55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Dear Lieutenant General Spellmon,
I am deeply concerned by new reports of radioactive contamination near a Missouri elementary school in an area under management by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Many parents and teachers are concerned as well, to say the least, and they have every right to be. You must take action immediately to protect these vulnerable children and others in the area.
The results of recent testing at Jana Elementary in Florissant, Missouri, conducted by a private firm show levels of radiation well exceeding federal standards. It should go without saying that hazardous, radioactive contamination has no place in schools, or anywhere near schools, or anywhere near any place where children are. And it should also go without saying the federal government must be honest and transparent about the facts. I urge you and your team to review the results of the recent private testing immediately, and also immediately to conduct further appropriate testing of the Jana Elementary area—and make the results public. You should also explain, without delay, what actions the Corps and other agencies are taking now to ensure the safety of school children at Jana Elementary and in the St. Louis region.
I emphasize that time is of the essence and delay is not acceptable. Residents of this community have had to deal with uncertainty and changing facts for too long.
Please respond to the following questions immediately:
- What is the current federal safety standard applicable to Jana Elementary?
- When will USACE independently verify the testing at Jana Elementary?
- What is the approximate risk level posed to children and residents by the radiation levels in the Hazelwood School District?
- What is USACE doing to mitigate the risks identified by the testing?
- How has USACE communicated the testing, risks, and mitigation strategies to parents in Hazelwood School District?