PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                 July 22, 2015

Contact:               Dawn Chapman (Just Moms STL) 314-739-7634

Heather Navarro (Missouri Coalition for the Environment) 314-808-4345

Gale Thackrey (Franciscan Sisters of Mary) 618-304-2660

Groups Applaud Bipartisan Call for DOE Review of the West Lake Landfill

St. Louis, MO: People and organizations following the ongoing issues at the West Lake Landfill applaud the bipartisan letter from Senator McCaskill, Senator Blunt, Representative Clay, and Representative Wagner sent to the Department of Energy. The bipartisan letter notes inconsistencies from the DOE regarding the West Lake Landfill and its qualifying as a FUSRAP site.

“Republic Services has too much influence over the process at West Lake because it’s a Superfund site,” said Dawn Chapman of Just Moms STL. “Moving West Lake to FUSRAP reduces the influence of Republic Services while giving our community an independent second opinion regarding the removal of the radioactive wastes.”

Radioactive wastes at the West Lake Landfill originated in North St. Louis County at the Hazelwood/Latty Avenue site currently being cleaned up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under FUSRAP. The Corps of Engineers collects the science to support the decision making for the radioactive materials. In contrast, because West Lake Landfill remains a Superfund site, financially responsible parties provide the science that determines the cleanup. The financially responsible parties include Republic Services, Exelon Energy, and the Department of Energy.

“FUSRAP makes sense at the West Lake Landfill because all of the nuclear weapons radioactive sites in the St. Louis area need to be treated equally,” said Ed Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “The Corps of Engineers is already working with the EPA Superfund program at West Lake to provide technical assistance so a transfer to FUSRAP should be smooth because there is already site familiarity.”

“Putting FUSRAP in charge at West Lake means the best government agency to make these decisions will be in charge,” said Gale Thackrey, eco-justice coordinator with the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. “We know this is an uphill battle and encourage our elected officials to legislatively put FUSRAP in charge at West Lake if the DOE refuses to act on their request.”

Organizations and Individuals Supporting FUSRAP Include:

  • St. Louis County Council (unanimous, bipartisan resolution)
  • St. Charles County Council (unanimous, bipartisan resolution)
  • Pattonville School District
  • Pattonville Fire Protection District
  • DePaul Hospital SSM
  • North County Incorporated
  • City of Bridgeton
  • City of Black Jack
  • Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (district includes the West Lake Landfill)
  • Representative Bill Otto (district includes the West Lake Landfill)
  • Representative Keith English
  • Former St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley
  • Franciscan Sisters of Mary
  • Just Moms STL
  • Missouri Coalition for the Environment
  • Kay Drey