KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency has begun removing hazardous waste from an abandoned science building at Knoxville College.
Knoxville media report the federal agency expects the entire cleanup to last up to four weeks.
The facility was initially investigated last year by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation after taking materials to a scrapyard that set off radiation alarms. TDEC officials went to the school on June 5 to make sure hazardous materials had been properly secured, but then found "additional hazardous materials and hazardous conditions."
After making the discovery, state officials immediately contacted the EPA, which sent crews on June 9 to being removing the materials.
EPA officials said the chemicals don't pose an immediate threat, but could pose a risk if left to deteriorate further.