FALLON, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - A possible health concern reported first by News 4 is prompting some parents to take action, but they're hitting a roadblock in trying to protect their kids. The Churchill county school district won't let students transfer campuses despite a new lawsuit which claims one elementary could be linked to the Fallon cancer cluster.
News4 exclusively introduced you to April Brune last week - a Fallon mom who says in a new lawsuit that her son Ryan died from Lukemia after a Kinder-Morgan pipeline leaked jetfuel into the ground at E.C. Best Elementary School.
“Watching Ryan's mom's story, that just made me cry. I don't want to be the next mom to see my kid get sick,” mom Cassie Harrison said.
Harrison was immediately worried about her first grader Carmalla so she asked the superintendent for a transfer from E.C. Best to another campus across town.
“He told me I was overreacting,” Harrison said.
Multiple other families who didn't want to go on camera tell me they heard the same response from district leaders - and they will not be allowed to switch schools. News 4 showed up at school district headquarters to speak with the superintendent. He declined our request for an on-camera interview - instead referring us to a statement which went out as robo call to parents. The computer generated recording doesn't directly mention the new lawsuit instead saying:
“The pipeline has not and does not pose a health hazard. The pipeline and the jet fuel it transports have been excluded by experts as causes of leukemia,” it said.
The statement also doesn't specify who those experts are. But it does add the pipeline runs in this north east section of the property - away from buildings and playgrounds.
“The health and well-being of our children is of foremost importance,” it said.
Doctor Gary Ridenour took spent the last 15 plus years investigating the leukemia cluster. He disagrees with the robocall saying he personally pulled a soil sample from the school's area and it had the jet fuel in it.
“We know the pipeline leaked. So what needs to be done at E.C. Best is more testing,” he said.
The superintendent says off camera everything's in the hands of the State Health Department now and the school district won't be pursuing the matter further at this time. Something mom Harrison didn't like hearing - especially since her cousin died of leukemia in Fallon a few years ago.
Watching what her family had to go through, her father. It truly was a horrible thing.
So she vows not to pipe down about her concerns - planning to take this to the school board and anyone else who will listen.
If you want to see what Kinder-Morgan had to say about this lawsuit or more of what the plaintiff’s evidence is, click on the related story attached to this one.