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.
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.
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.
Our rainy weather has postponed the start of repairs to fix a noxious smell at the Bridgeton landfill.
Landfill owners, Republic Services had warned residents that the smell will get worse during the early phase of moving things around to ultimately snuff the stench.
Residents who live near by have been offered expenses to stay in a hotel. All work should be completed by June 14th.
People who live within a mile of the smelly Bridgeton Landfill are being offered alternative housing until crews remove concrete pipe sections to get rid of the stench.
The Post Dispatch reports the program is voluntary and will be offered to residents living in Spanish Village, Terrisan Reste mobile home community and certain areas of the Carrollton Village Condominiums.
The landfill is offering to pay hotel lodging fees and taxes at an extended say hotel selected by Bridgeton Landfill officials.
The project is expected to last until June 14.
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.
The Department of Natural Resources on Friday released a summary of recent air sampling results from the landfill. The samples showed "concentrations did not exceed a level of concern for public health." One sample collected near the landfill boundary, however, had a benzene concentration above the level considered safe.
An area deep within the inactive landfill has been smoldering for more than two years, emitting a foul odor that has generated several complaints.
Landfill operator, Phoenix-based Republic Services Inc., says it's spending millions of dollars to address the problem.
An environmental group says more testing is needed.