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Coraopolis firm awaits state penalty for losing nuclear gauge

| Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection officials are determining what penalty Jeff Zell Consultants Inc. of Coraopolis will pay for waiting 10 days to report a missing nuclear density gauge, DEP spokeswoman Katy Gresh said today.

"The gauge hasn't been found," Gresh said. "We're still going to cite the company."

A woman who answered the phone at the company today said company officials would have no comment about the situation.

Jeff Zell officials should have notified DEP immediately upon learning the gauge was missing, Gresh said. She did not know when DEP officials would decide on the penalty.

DEP officials and state police continue to investigate the gauge's disappearance.

The gauge poses no safety threat as long as no one tampers with it, DEP officials said. Tampering could lead to exposure to dangerous levels of radiation.

The gauge is about the size of a shoebox, with electronic controls and a metal rod protruding from the top.

The company is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the return of the device. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-541-2050 or 412-442-4000. In event of emergency, call 911.

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