Operators are on the honor system to test and report any high levels of radioactivity. Naturally, they rarely find any.
Nineteen workers have filed a suit against Exxon because it hid the fact that its used drilling pipe was radioactive. Other workers who already have cancer were paid off by Exxon.
The workers, 19 former employees of Intracoastal Tubular Services, or ITCO, claim they were exposed to radioactive radium in the residue that built up in the pipes and are now afraid they may get cancer. The trial began with opening statements in state court in Gretna, Louisiana, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.
The workers claim Exxon knew as early as 1981 that the residue could contain radioactive material and warned no one for years. Exxon delayed disclosure to prevent federal authorities from reclassifying radioactive water it pumped from Mississippi wells as hazardous waste, the workers claim.
Flower Mound will soon vote on piping this highly corrosive, toxic, radioactive water from drilling sites to a massive collection facility. The waste would be collected at the site then piped to Argyle for disposal in an injection well. Flower Mound already has a possible cancer cluster.
The owners of the Harvey property won a $1 billion punitive jury verdict against Exxon in 2001 over claims of radioactive contamination from the pipe-cleaning operation. The punitive judgment was reduced to $112 million and paid, with interest, after Exxon’s appeals failed.