In early spring 2022, we were connected with a parent in the Hazelwood School District (HSD) whose child attends Jana Elementary. She expressed great concern and frustration towards the lack of transparency and accessible information regarding the sampling on the school property for Manhattan Engineering District/Atomic Energy Commission radioactive waste contamination. She indicated she has made multiple attempts to obtain sample locations and results from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) and the school. Unfortunately, to little or no avail. As per FUSRAP instructions, she submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request but the response from FUSRAP indicating a large price tag for producing the documents deterred her from moving forward.

Following our mission to advocate in defense of Missouri’s people and their environment and our long-standing commitment to the clean-up of St. Louis’ radioactive legacy waste, we submitted identical information requests to the Hazelwood School District and FUSRAP. Upon review of the documents, we found that contamination has been discovered on the property and/or directly adjacent to it. 

We believe parents should have been notified as soon as FUSRAP requested the Right of Entry to investigate the potential contamination on school grounds. Regardless of the findings or levels of contamination, parents deserve the right to know the potential dangers of exposure and make informed decisions for the safety of their children. Furthermore, they most certainly should not have to pay to discover this information. For five years, FUSRAP has been investigating the Jana Elementary property and the majority of parents in the district remain in the dark. Anyone spending time in and around the schools — children, parents, teachers, staff, and neighbors — should be informed of what is going on. MCE welcomes the opportunity to work with the school board and the broader school district community to advocate for swift action to address the contamination at Jana Elementary and other schools in the district. We can all agree that we want the Hazelwood School District to be a safe and healthy place to learn, work, and play.

MCE’s presentation to the Hazelwood School District Board of Education