The Missouri Coalition for the Environment supports full removal of the uncontained radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill because this is the safest long-term option for human health and our local environment.
The West Lake Landfill was never designed for permanent radioactive waste storage. The St. Louis region is an urban area vulnerable to earthquakes and tornadoes. The landfill currently contains a smoldering fire that is 700 feet from the known areas of radioactive contamination. There is no liner separating the radioactive waste from the groundwater, and the landfill is in the Missouri River floodplain, upstream from regional St. Louis drinking water intakes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has jurisdiction of the West Lake Landfill. The EPA and financially responsible parties acknowledge removal is the safest long-term option for human health and the St. Louis region. Radioactive material has been safely removed and transported from sites around St. Louis County and the country by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Clean-up procedures are strongly controlled and monitored to ensure minimal risks to both workers and the community. Leaving the waste in the landfill merely benefits the bottom line of the financially responsible parties at the expense of the surrounding community.
The EPA’s proposal calls for abandoning radioactive material below 16 feet deep. As good stewards of our planet, we must safeguard against current and future threats to drinking water. Removal of the radioactivity will eliminate the threat of future radioactive migration into the air and water in St. Louis County and beyond. Please submit comments to the EPA on our West Lake Landfill hompeage in support of full removal.