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   After months of requesting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take the lead in resolving the issues surrounding two landfills in Bridgeton, it looks as though local residents will get at least part of what they've been demanding.  EPA officials announced Friday that the Corps of Engineers will help construct an isolation barrier between an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill and radioactive materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill.

   Last week, Attorney General Chris Koster had urged the EPA to move quickly on the barrier.  

   The radioactive waste was dumped illegally in North County about 40 years ago.  Environmental groups and residents have been calling for the Army Corps to take over the cleanup.  Those calls became more urgent in recent months as the risk of the fire spreading became known. 

Published in Local News

After months of requesting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take the lead in resolving the issues surrounding the West Lake and Bridgeton Landfills, the Environmental Protection Agency says the Corps will help construct an isolation barrier between an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill and radioactive materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill.  

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks wrote to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Friday saying he will keep Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources closely informed about the status of the project.

Earlier this week, Koster urged the EPA to move quickly on the barrier.  The radioactive waste is a byproduct of the Manhattan Project and was dumped in North County illegally about 40 years ago.

Environmental groups and residents have been calling for the Army Corps to take over the cleanup of the Superfund site as the Corps has worked on other nuclear waste cleanup projects in the St. Louis area.

Published in Local News
   Bridgeton city officials want to transfer control of the of the West Lake Landfill and the radioactive waste buried there to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Bridgeton City Council Wednesday night passed a resolution asking the Corps to take charge.  
   Proponents say some of the materials buried at West Lake came from other sites controlled by the Corps, so it makes sense for them to take over of the Bridgeton site too.
   Bridgeton homeowner Dawn Chapman agrees. She spoke with Fox 2 News about the vote. "We want the experts to come in and figure out what needs to happen to this," she said.  "We want objective, scientific results and then let's make a decision." 
   Concern continues to grow over the risks posed to the local community by a slow-smoldering fire at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.  EPA officials have said the fire is inching closer to West Lake.
 
Published in Local News

Missouri's top law enforcement official wants the owner of a St. Louis landfill to provide more details about a underground smoldering fire at the site which could threaten radioactive waste buried nearby.  

On Thursday, Attorney General Chris Koster asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court to order Republic Services to provide additional monitoring data related to the Bridgeton Landfill.  

Koster says the state has asked Republic Services to supply data and maps showing the concentration of carbon monoxide at various locations in an effort to track movement of the fire.

He says the company has not supplied comprehensive data for the north part of the site, nearest the nuclear material.  

A spokesman says the company expects to provide additional monitoring data that it believes will validate that the site is safe.

Published in Local News

   The construction of a trench designed to keep the slow smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill away from radioactive soil buried at the West Lake Landfill may have hit a snag.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that EPA testing has revealed more radioactive material at West Lake.  

   The paper reports that Florissant City Engineer Tim Barrett wrote about the newly discovered materials in a letter to Mayor Thomas Schneider.  Barrett wrote that the EPA is expected to release a report on the new findings later this week.  

   Barrett also wrote that the location of the radioactive materials and the results of additional testing will determine how and where the trench will be built. 

 

Published in Local News

   A group of north county residents want their neighbors near the West Lake Landfill to put more pressure on elected leaders to clean up the site.  About 100 people attended a public meeting Thursday night hosted by the West Lake Landfill Community Group and Missouri Coalition for the Environment.  

   MCE's Ed Smith told the group that the current fire smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill isn't the first to threaten the radioactive site.  "There was a landfill fire in the early 90s closer to the radioactive wastes than the current landfill fire," he said.

   That's why the groups say plans to build a barrier between the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill and West Lake isn't enough.  They want local leaders to put pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the soil, as they're doing at other radioactive waste sites.

   Missouri State Representative Bill Otto was among the political leaders who attended last night's meeting.  He told Fox 2 News that EPA work on the barrier project that had stopped because of the government shutdown is back on track.  "They're getting back in the office," he said.  "And getting ready to resume the work that they had started or were tasked to do with the landfill."

  Bridgeton Landfill LLC released the following statement:  "We're eager to resume work with  the EPA in conjunction with state agencies to begin the next stage of the construction."

  Pattonville Fire officials along with St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and representatives from County Executive Charlie Dooley's office also attended the meeting.

   Organizers are calling on residents to note odor issues and contact their local politicians to make a change.

Published in Local News

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.

Published in Local News

   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.

Published in Local News

   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. 

 
Published in Local News

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