Containers Might Not Have Had Radioactive Waste

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Federal authorities concluded there is not sufficient evidence to believe egg-shaped containers holding radioactive material were ever buried at the Industrial Excess Landfill in Stark County.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice checked the former operator's comment that radioactive waste was buried at the landfill 30 years ago.

Government investigators, who spent eight months secretly pursuing the claims, said Wednesday it cannot be proved. The federal judge who ordered the investigation said no further investigation is warranted.

Investigators studied old dump receipts, interviewed witnesses and tested the ground at the 30-acre site south of Uniontown, between Canton and Akron.

"The testing we did was inconclusive," said William Muno, Superfund director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 office in Chicago.

The landfill ceased operations in 1980, and was covered with soil. The U.S. EPA declared the Industrial Excess Landfill a Superfund site in 1984.

U.S. District Judge John M. Manos in Cleveland ordered the secret investigation in February after Charles M. Kittinger told federal officials he had buried three large stainless-steel containers shaped like eggs and containing plutonium.

The U.S. EPA, the Department of Justice and four rubber companies are participating in ongoing clean-up negotiations.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)