Support FUSRAP Transfer
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment supports transferring jurisdiction of the radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) under the US Army Corps of Engineers. Read MCE's op-ed in The Hill supporting FUSRAP in 2016.
FUSRAP was established specifically to clean up sites contaminated as a result of early nuclear weapons and energy programs in the United States. It is currently cleaning up sites along Coldwater Creek and in downtown St. Louis contaminated by the same Manhattan Project waste found at the West Lake Landfill. FUSRAP has the expertise necessary to clean up the radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill because it has already removed radioactive material from a landfill in Massachusetts, and it already has a local office established in the St. Louis region that is more accessible to the community. Through interagency agreements with EPA Region 7, the Army Corps of Engineers is already familiar with the West Lake Landfill site. Ensuring that the cleanup decision is the safest and best long term option for the region is more important to the community than reaching a decision quickly.
FUSRAP is also less likely to be influenced by financially responsible parties. The EPA recently blamed the financially responsible parties for delaying the cleanup process because they did not submit reports according to the agreed timeline. The Army Corps of Engineers are their own contractors or they hire contractors that report to them. This removes the incentive for contractors hired by the financially responsible parties to represent corporate profits over the well-being of the surrounding community and ensures that workers are better protected and compensated at FUSRAP sites compared to Superfund sites.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is part of a broad coalition of organizations that supports transfer of the landfill to FUSRAP because it is in the best interest the community. FUSRAP has the expertise to cleanup the landfill in the most protective manner.