A measure to transfer the clean up of the West Lake Landfill to the Army Corp of Engineers is moving forward.
On Monday the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill 2306. The EPA has overseen the landfill since the 1990’s, but has yet to act on the clean up.
Senator Roy Blunt, who co-sponsored the legislation with Senator Claire McCaskill, applauded this action: “The families living near the West Lake landfill have made clear that they are fed up with the EPA’s long delay in implementing a plan to clean up the site.”
Blunt added: “The EPA has lost credibility within the community, and left parents living in fear for their children’s health and safety. That is completely unacceptable. The Senate has taken an important step by voting to give the Corps the authority to utilize its knowledge and expertise on clean-up efforts, which I hope will begin to give families the peace of mind they deserve.”
McCaskill said: ” This plan isn’t a silver bullet, and will take far longer than we’d like to resolve these issues—but it’s a concrete, positive step forward. Now it’s up to the U.S. House to take up this issue so that we can get the legislation across the finish line.”
“We have sacrificed so much and we still have work to do, but for now, we will take this victory,” said Karen Nickel, cofounder of Just Moms STL. “We will go to Washington DC next week and to the ends of the earth to protect our children, which is why we support this legislation.”
Republic Services, which owns West Lake Landfill released the following statement:
“Talk to people in Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. The last time Congress tried this, remediation work took more than a decade. Costs shifted from private parties to the taxpayer, and the government has recouped just pennies on the dollar.” said Russ Knocke, Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs at Republic Services.
The bill now must pass the U.S. House. Missouri Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner have introduced companion legislation in the House.