Festus homeowners are anxious to learn the details of a plan to clean up lead contamination in their yards from a nearby scrap metal recycling center. But residents learned last night they'll have to wait until a deal is finalized between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and MW Recycling which operates the Shapiro Brothers scrap yard.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that elevated lead levels were found in 16 yards, with as many as 15 more still to be tested. Water tests in a nearby creek also showed lead and cadmium contamination.
The company will pay for and conduct the remediation operations with DNR oversight.
NR Director Sara Parker Pauley sent a letter Thursday asking the attorney general’s agricultural and environment division to "institute appropriate legal action" against the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill on St. Charles Rock Road. The move comes of the heels of a lawsuit filed by residents against Republic Services, which owns the 52-acre site just north of Lambert Airport.
The Phoenix-based company says they've been cooperating with state and local officials to deal with the problems.
The action follows testing by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that showed elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air. The noxious compound can cause headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and even breathing trouble.
But a representative for the company that owns the landfill, Republic Services, denies any danger. Republic officials say EPA and DNR testing show the odor presents no risk to the public.
A report on the DNR website says the levels of hydrogen sulfide are high enough to warrant monitoring and would pose a health risk if they intensify further.