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EPA finds radioactive contamination in Missouri landfill

Film from27 Dec 2015

 by Allison Kite 29 March 2023

Shortly after MuckRock and the Missouri Independent announced a callout for stories from families impacted by 47,000 tons of radioactive waste buried in the West Lake Landfill in northern St. Louis County, the EPA held a community meeting sharing that the problem was even more widespread than initially believed.

The finding is based on two years of testing at the St. Louis County site, which has held thousands of tons of radioactive waste for decades. An underground “fire” in another area of the landfill threatens to exacerbate the issue, which residents believe is responsible for a host of mysterious illnesses.

Chris Jump, the EPA’s remedial project manager for the site, said the findings don’t change the agency’s planned cleanup strategy or the level of risk the site poses to the surrounding residents. The radioactive waste is still within the footprint of the landfill, she said.

And though the site was placed on the National Priorities List more than 30 years ago, meaning it is among the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in the country, the EPA wouldn’t commit to a timeline for the cleanup during Tuesday’s meeting.

I know this is not what people want to hear,” Jump said, adding that federal law requires certain steps for Superfund sites. “I’m sorry. I can’t give you a specific timeframe.”

The Missouri Independent and MuckRock are partnering to investigate the history of dumping and cleanup efforts of radioactive waste in the St. Louis area. Read the full story by the Missouri Independent’s Allison Kite at MuckRock or at the Missouri Independent’s website.


March 30, 2023 - Posted by | environment, USA

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