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

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 


Clean Power Plan release

Missouri Stakeholders Support State Effort to Develop Clean Power Plan

For immediate release: July 14, 2014

Missouri Stakeholders Support State Effort to Develop Clean Power Plan
State begins process to implement plan to reduce carbon pollution

Contact: Heather Navarro, Missouri Coalition for the Environment 
314.808.4345, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Key stakeholders will attend a Missouri Department of Natural Labadie 001smallResources (DNR) meeting today to support a state plan for reducing carbon pollution.

Today’s DNR meeting is one of the first with stakeholders to discuss the Environmental 
Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan released in June. The proposed EPA standards under the Clean Air Act would require Missouri to reduce its carbon pollution by 21percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.

Key environmental groups, energy producers, faith organizations, and other stakeholders support efforts to craft a state plan that both reduces carbon pollution and benefits Missouri’s economy.

“Missouri has an opportunity to create jobs, spur energy innovation, and protect our health with a strong state plan that curbs carbon pollution,” said Heather Navarro of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

Read more: Clean Power Plan...

Survey Shows Missouri Voters Support State Plan to Cut Carbon Pollution

 For immediate release: November 12, 2014

Contact: Heather Navarro, Missouri Coalition for the Environment
314.808.4345, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PJ Wilson, Renew Missouri
417.459.7468, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Survey shows 77% of Missouri voters support a state plan to cut carbon pollution

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Polling data released today by Clean Air Missouri shows Missouri voters overwhelming support a state plan that would reduce carbon pollution. Results from a statewide survey of 638 likely voters conducted in September by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, indicate 77% of Missourians favor a state plan that would reduce carbon pollution in Missouri by:

  • closing certain old, outdated and highly polluting coal power plants;
  • improving the efficiency of other existing coal plants;
  • making greater use of existing natural gas power plants;
  • increasing use of clean and renewable energy like wind and solar; and
  • expanding utility programs to help consumers improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their electricity bills. 

“This survey indicates Missourians are ready to do something about carbon pollution,” said Heather Navarro, Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. ”We encourage the Governor and other state policy makers to implement a comprehensive state plan that reduces carbon pollution, increases the use of clean and renewable energy and expands energy efficiency to clean up our air, strengthen our economy and secure our energy future.”

Read more: Survey Shows...

Fighting for Missouri's Clean Energy Future




St. Louis, MO (June 24, 2014) – On June 23, 2014, Save Our Lawfully Authorized Rebates, LLC (“SOLAR”) and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (“MCE”) filed a lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court against the Missouri Public Service Commission (“PSC”) asking the Court to preserve the payment of solar rebates in Missouri, as mandated by the passage of Proposition C in 2008.

The lawsuit states that Ameren Missouri and Kansas City Power & Light have recently filed requests with the PSC to end all solar rebate payments. "It's been more than 5 years since Missouri voters approved a renewable energy standard and since that time we have seen one attack after another to erode the will of the voters,” said Heather Navarro, Executive Director of MCE. "This lawsuit seeks to put Missouri back on track for a clean energy future that develops renewable sources now, for home grown jobs, clean air and a healthier climate for our children. Without it we are laying off workers today in exchange for cloudy predictions by utilities that there may be jobs in the future,” added Navarro.

Read more: Fighting for...

Group Appeals Court Decision on Renewable Energy Standard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 June 25, 2015

Contact: Henry Robertson, (314) 231-4181, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ed Smith, (314) 705-4975, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group Appeals Renewable Energy Standard Circuit Court Decision

St. Louis, MO: Seven years after voter approval, the effort to fully implement Missouri's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) continued this week when the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri Solar Applications, LLC, and Thomas J. Sager appealed a Circuit Court decision denying an attempt to have the original Public Service Commission (PSC) RES rule implemented.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) stripped the local sourcing provision from the PSC's original rule. Local sourcing would have required investor-owned utilities to provide renewable energy generated in Missouri, or delivered to Missouri through transmission from neighboring states, to consumers in order for it to count toward the RES. The case will now go to the Missouri Supreme Court.

 “Missouri voters voted overwhelmingly for renewable energy in Missouri,” said plaintiff Tom Sager.  “Missouri legislators, against the will of the voters, seek to illegally obstruct the development of renewable energy in Missouri.  This obstructionism cannot be tolerated.”

JCAR’s actions currently allow investor-owned utilities to meet the RES by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) from far away states that do not directly benefit Missouri’s economy or environment as intended by voters.

"The PSC read the law and decided it meant that renewable energy must be generated in Missouri or at least be consumed here,” said Henry Robertson, the lead attorney with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. “The utilities went crying to JCAR and got the legislature to undermine the will of the voters. It was not JCAR's job to undo the work of the PSC and deny Missourians the benefit of the law."


Legal Documents: 

Bridgeton Landfill Fire/West Lake Landfill News



WHEN:  Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: International Union of Operating Engineers - 3449 Hollenburg Dr., Bridgeton, MO 63044

The next West Lake Landfill public meeting welcomes several experts from near and far, including: Bob Alvarez, who served in the US Dept. of Energy under President Bill Clinton. Most recently Bob Alvarez has been working on the Plutonium mess at Hanford, Washington. More on Bob Alvarez here:

Dr. Bob Criss from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Criss has challenged EPA Region 7's claim that it's only "leached barium sulfate" at the West Lake Landfill. More on Dr. Criss here:

Peter Anderson, who has worked on landfill issues for much of his career. More on Peter Anderson here:

You can RSVP on Facebook.

Read the latest on West Lake Landfill from nuclear weapons waste expert, Robert Alverez.

Trenching Plan Under Fire

The October government shut down delayed steps to investigate the possiblity of whether a trench can be constructed to block the advance of the subsurface landfill fire at the Bridgeton Landfill near Earth City. The plan for the trench is the latest concept to prevent the underground fire from reaching the radioactive nuclear weaponse wastes which are in the northern portion of the landfill, closest to St. Charles Rock Road. 

MCE is raising concerns about the safety of the plan. The proposed plan includes clearing the site of shrubs and grasses which have been growing on the radioactive portion of the site for decades, helping to prevent the soil from washing away or blowing in the wind. Disturbance of the vegetation is a concern because some of the radioactivity is at the surface on the site.

 The latest from the St. Louis American.

Here's KWMU's story.

And one from the Republic in Columbus, Indiana.

And information about the County's role from KMOX

And KMOX on the testing 1 and the AP 2.

Amendment 7 is a Dead End

Thank you to everyone who helped defeat Amendment 7!

One thing all Missourians can get behind is the ability to get from one place to another safely. Whether the commute is twenty minutes or two hours, our livelihoods depend on us being able to get our families, our employees, and our goods from one place to another. As anyone on a road trip knows, there are many routes from A to B. This August, we will be asked to vote on Amendment 7, one proposal to address the state’s transportation needs – a constitutional amendment to impose a ¾ cent sales tax to pay for highway and transportation projects, the largest tax increase in Missouri’s history.

Read more: Amendment 7 is a...

Draft Budget Contains Funding to Transfer National Scenic Riverways

Special thanks to our allies at Missouri Parks Assoc.

UPDATE: The House passed the budget with the $6 million appropriation. We must now contact Missouri senators who will consider the proposed budget next.

(Jefferson City) -- The House Budget Committee this week is considering a proposed appropriation of $6 million from "surplus revenue fund" and whatever else is needed from the Park Sales Tax for operation and maintenance of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) in the event this national park is transferred to the state, as requested in other bills currently under consideration in the Missouri General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.                                     


Transfer of the ONSR to the state would mean the loss of some $8 million in annual federal expenditures in the region and saddle the state park system with equivalent annual expenses and an additional $32 million backlog in deferred maintenance.

Surplus funds may be available this year, but they will not likely be available in subsequent years, resulting in a massive drain on state park funds with negative consequences on other units of the state park system.


Kirkwood Republican Representative Rick Stream heads the House Budget Committee which is expected to meet Wednesday, March 12.


For more information, see the this news article and consider the following:
  • Missourians, like all Americans, overwhelmingly support their national parks, as demonstrated by 95 percent approval rating in recent surveys; we are proud to have such a national treasure as the Riverways in the Ozarks and appreciate that it is operated at no cost to the state.
  • The designation as a national park annually attracts 1.3-1.5 million people from across America seeking out Ozark National Scenic Riverways for family vacations.
  • The national park provides a substantial economic boost, estimated at $65 million annually, for south central Missouri communities and small businesses catering to lodging, canoe rental, food service, groceries, and gas. Nearly 90 percent of this comes from non-local visitors attracted to this famous national river. Operated by the state this amount would likely be much less.
  • Transfer to the state would leave Missouri taxpayers saddled with substantial new expenses each year. The ONSR operating budget and special project funds total some $8 million per year, and the park has a $32 million backlog in deferred maintenance.
  • Missouri State Parks is still struggling with the loss of about twenty percent of its staff during the recent economic downturn, the park sales tax is inadequate to rebuilt staff capacity, and the system is saddled with a backlog of nearly $400 million in deferred maintenance and other priority infrastructure projects. It would be greatly stressed by management responsibility for the Riverways and its other units would inevitably suffer.
  • The National Park Service has operated the Riverways for nearly fifty years and its proposed new management plan is intended to provide additional staff and funds to deal in a reasonable and balanced way with problems that have developed there in recent years. It deserves our support to make the Ozark National Scenic Riverways the very best it can be.

Read the bill here



Clean Energy Transition is Happening Now

Letter to the Editor by Ed Smith, Safe Energy Director

Printed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on June 14, 2015

Peabody to slash 250 jobs, including 50 in St. Louis" (June 9) underscores the fact that while some continue to deny the scientific reality of climate change, the economic realities show us that Missouri can no longer afford to be in a state of denial about global climate change.

Clearly the U.S. and the world is moving toward a clean, safe and reliable energy economy that will depend much more on renewables than on polluting fossil fuels like coal. This shift is improving public health by decreasing our dependency on dirty fossil fuels, while helping Missouri prevent a dangerously warming future filled with massive floods like in 2011 and massive droughts like in 2012, where all 114 counties were declared disaster areas by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Our homes, livelihood and infrastructure are at stake, and the good news is we have the tools and technology to respond now.

The costs of warming that are already being felt will hit future generations with much more devastating force unless we take responsible action today. That’s why Sen. Claire McCaskill needs to protect the Environmental Protection Agency from legislative attacks while it implements the Clean Power Plan, which for the first time will limit the emission of carbon dioxide pollution from power plants.


MCE Comments: Landfill Company Failing to Protect Public

To DNR: Public Safety Must Be the Highest Priority at the West Lake/Bridgeton Landfill

Earlier this summer Republic Services, the owner of a landfill in north St. Louis County where an underground fire continues to advance toward decades-old radioactive nuclear weapons waste that lies 1,000 feet away, submitted an amended plan to address the fire to the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources.  The Missouri Coalition for the Environment submitted comments Wednesday, August 28,criticizing the Republic Services plan as inadequate to protect public health and safety. MCE further requested that Republic Services  be removed from the decision making about actions to be taken in this growing emergency and reiterated its call for the complete and careful removal of the radioactive wastes from the West Lake Landfill.

The West Lake Landfill is a superfund site containing radioactive nuclear weapons waste from the Manhattan project, as well as hazardous industrial wastes. For more information on the site's history click here.

Read MCE's August comment letter here.

Read Republic's 8-14 Revised Contingency Plan here on the MDNR's West Lake/Bridgeton Landfill Reports page under Archives/Weekly Reports submitted by Republic Services for Bridgeton Landfill. (The document is large and slow to open.)


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