- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

IRVINE, Ky. (AP) - Estill County officials are furious after not being told by Kentucky officials that low-level nuclear waste from drilling operations in other states was dumped illegally in their county last year.

State officials knew about the waste for a couple of weeks, but the county just found out about it Thursday, Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor told news outlets Friday.

Taylor said he and other county leaders will fight to determine how the waste ended up in the landfill and to ensure there is no public health risk.

“We don’t want people to think that we are trying to cover something up,” Tayor said. “We don’t want to think the landfill is trying to cover something up. We want to get to the bottom of this.”

The Division of Waste Management discovered radioactive material sealed in 47 boxes that were each about the size of a large dumpster. Officials have confirmed the waste came from operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The landfill has a liner and the material has been buried, state officials said.

Taylor said the county will do its own testing water levels at the landfill and nearby schools rather than relying completely upon the word of the state and landfill operator.

“We cannot change that this happened, but we can make sure that our community is safe and that your voices are heard,” the Estill County Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

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