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The consequences of the federal government shutdown could ultimately have an effect on the health and safety of St. Louisans.
Missouri's attorney general Chris Koster has joined the call for federal regulators to proceed with required testing of a St. Louis County landfill that's been halted by the budget and debt ceiling stalemate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decided to delay testing at the Bridgeton Landfill until federal funding for the work is enacted. There has been an underground fire burning at the landfill which is adjacent to the West Lake Landfill where radioactive waste is buried.
Chris Koster's office released a letter yesterday asking the EPA to reconsider its decision to delay testing.
Additional steps are being undertaken to reduce the strong odors emanating from the Bridgeton Landfill. Owners of the landfill, Republic Services, say they are adding 7 acres of tarp to control the smell which has been so bad that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed suit on behalf of residents. Gas extraction pumps have also been installed to reduce the odor. Despite some improvement, there are still days when the smell is overwhelming. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says more short-term odors may be generated as gas extraction wells are prepared for the installation of the liner.
The company that owns the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill has 20 days to submit a new plan to stop the fire's spread toward radioactive waste buried at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources yesterday found "significant deficiencies" in Republic Service's contingency plan.
Residents living near the two landfills have expressed serious concerns about the underground fire that continues to creep closer to the radioactive waste site.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic in March because the continuous burning violates state environmental laws. Koster says he will take them back to court if necessary to force the company to comply with the DNR's request for a new plan.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A long smoldering St. Louis County landfill has a history of methane violations.
State and county inspection reports and other public documents from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources show the landfill has been out of compliance with state regulations since the late 1990s. The issue was that the landfill was allowing excess levels of methane, a potentially dangerous gas, to seep off-site.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the methane problems also raise questions about a possible connection to the mass of overheated waste that continues to smolder deep below the surface of the landfill.
The company says it isn't yet ruling anything out and is working with the DNR to determine the origin of what has been called a "smoldering event."
New air and water tests showed no health risk from the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton. That was the message from the EPA to the big – and sometimes rowdy – crowd Tuesday night at Pattonville High School.
Residents say they are concerned that the underground fire burning at the nearby Bridgeton Landfill could spread to radioactive waste buried in the 1970s at the West Lake facility. About 650 came to Tuesday night's meeting, many demanding immediate action.
But EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks says preliminary studies show there is time to study the situation before making a decision. "That event over there on the Bridgeton side does not threaten the West Lake Landfill," Brooks said. "It gives us time to assess the science, take a look at the engineering and make good choices about it."
Some residents want the radioactive materials removed. Others favor a buyout.
Brooks says all options are on the table, but nothing will happen right away.
The first of two meetings to is set for tomorrow for North St. Louis County residents who want answers to questions about the putrid odor from smoldering garbage at the Bridgeton Landfill.
They've also worried about the proximity of the underground fire to radioactive waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment tells KTRS news now those concerns have drawn the attention of Erin Brockovich and her legal team. The environmental activist was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the 2000 film about her battle against a utility accused of polluting a small California town's water supply.
A Los Angeles attorney and an environmental investigator who work with Brockovich will meet with residents and answer their questions tomorrow morning at eleven at the Operating Engineers Union Hall off Hollenburg Drive.
Brockovich, who was initially supposed to attend the meeting, will NOT be there. It’s unclear if her absence is related to her arrest in Nevada last week for boating while intoxicated.
Local environmental groups have pushed for years to have the Army Corps of Engineers take control of the cleanup and excavate tons of Cold War-era nuclear weapons waste that was deposited illegally in the early 1970s.
A second meeting is set Monday night with State Rep. Bill Otto, of St. Charles at Pattonville High School. Otto said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health and Human Services and technical experts hired by the DNR to assess the landfill fire will be available via webcast to present information and answer questions.
The team of an environmentalist made famous by Julia Roberts is coming to St. Louis.
A spokesman for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment told KTRS News that a team representing Erin Brockovich will be in north county to address concerns surrounding the Bridgeton Landfill.
The smoldering event underneath the landfill has residents worried it could threaten nuclear waste buried next door at the West Lake Landfill. Residents and environmentalists hope the Brockovich name will draw attention to the issue. Recent tests done by the EPA suggest the underground fire would take 10 years to reach the nuclear waste.
Missouri health officials and the state's Department of Natural Resources are monitoring the smoldering closely.
People who live near a Bridgeton landfill get to return home today. Some had been staying in hotels as excavation work was done at the landfill which had been emitting a noxious odor.
Work is still still being done at the landfill. So far, six concrete pipes have been removed which contributed to the terrible smell.
Republic Services is now installing a landfill cap to control the odor.
Some good news concerning the fire at the Bridgeton Landfill. The EPA is expected to announce that radioactive waste buried near the site remains contained.
The waste was buried at the site in the 1970's. In 2008, the EPA approved a plan to install an earthen cap over the contaminated area.
The report, that will be released in full Wednesday afternoon, says that the safety features have kept the area secure. The results of the report were gathered by a flyover that used special monitoring equipment.
We should know later today what the EPA found following a new radiological survey of a Bridgeton landfill.
The EPA flew airplanes over the landfill site and the adjacent West Lake Landfill which houses decades old nuclear waste material. The purpose of the flight was to identify surface areas that emit gamma radiation.
Residents nearby are worried about an underground smoldering event beneath the Bridgeton Landfill reaching the nuclear waste under West Lake.