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.
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.