State Says Bridgeton Landfill Owner Must Do More To Contain Fire’s Spread

Bridgeton Landfill
9:45 PM
THU OCTOBER 16, 2014

 

Updated 10/17/14: Republic Services has confirmed that it agreed on Thursday, in writing, to comply with all of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ requirements ― although the company remains committed to its position that the additional measures are not needed.

Our original story:

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is spreading and that the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, needs to do more to stop it.

Republic says all its data ― including subsurface temperatures, carbon monoxide levels and surface settlement ― indicate that the chemical reaction is contained and moving south, away from the radioactive waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.

Click here for the rest of the story.

State asks Bridgeton Landfill owners to do more to keep fire from spreading

Bridgeton map DNR
The owners of the Bridgeton Landfill need to step up their efforts to keep an underground fire from reaching nuclear waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill, according to a letter released Monday by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The letter dated Oct. 7 follows two contradictory reports on the status of the fire. An expert hired by DNR said in September that the fire in the south quarry of Bridgeton Landfill is moving toward the north quarry, which abuts West Lake. Consultants for Republic Services, owner of both landfills, responded with a report that said the fire is not growing and is not moving toward the radioactive waste.

Chris Nagel, director of the state’s solid waste management program, agrees that the fire is moving northward and has asked Republic Services to expand its plan to monitor temperatures and report the findings weekly. Nagel also called on Republic to come up with a correction plan in the next month to stabilize the temperatures in the neck area. The actions are considered a stop-gap measure because construction on a planned barrier between the two landfills has been delayed and isn’t expected to start for 18 months.

A spokesman for Republic said the state’s proposal is unnecessary because the company is already working to reduce temperatures in the landfill, and that it was unlikely that the underground fire would reach the nuclear waste.

“We read the letter as an expression of impatience about delays on construction of an isolation barrier, which we offered to build more than a year ago,” said Russ Knocke.

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees West Lake through its Superfund toxic sites program, have said plans for the barrier have become more complex and require the help of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Bridgeton Landfill has been smoldering for more than three years, kicking up noxious odors and concerns about the proximity to World War II-era radioactive materials dumped in the West Lake Landfill in the 1970s.

“Republic Services continues to downplay the real possibility of the smoldering fire surfacing or moving closer to the radioactive wastes,” said Ed Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “There needs to be an honest conversation with the public about what happens if the north quarry encounters a smoldering landfill fire sooner than the EPA plans to complete an isolation barrier.”

October 4, 2014 West Lake Landfill Teach In Lois Gibbs CHEJ and Love Canal

Group Photo at Lois Gibbs Teach In October 4th 2014 at the Graphic Arts Center

Thank You, Lois Gibbs for you words of Inspiration and for Caring about our Community. Click Here to View

“Of all the sites that I have visited . . . this is by far the worst.” — Lois Gibbs on West Lake landfill in STL”

Lois Gibbs, founder of the Center for Health and Environmental Justice (CHEJ) and nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, came to St. Louis County to address Community about a smoldering fire has been and still is slowly moving toward radioactive wastes which were illegally dumped at the adjacent West Lake Landfill over 40 years ago.

Quote by Lois to CNN:
“West Lake Landfill is this generation’s Love Canal. In Love Canal, we were told that the thousands of tons of toxic chemicals were not causing any of our health problems,” Gibbs said. “Does this sound familiar?

In Love Canal we were told that putting a covering over the top of dump would protect us. Does this sound familiar?

When I see corporations like Republic downplaying risks to residents in order to save themselves some money and some trouble, I see history repeating itself. You and your allies in this room will have to keep organizing and agitating until you and your families have been moved out of harm’s way.”

Sponsoring organizations include Just Mom’s STL, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Franciscan Sisters of Mary, MO State Rep. Bill Otto, and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

Lois Gibbs came to St. Louis County, Missouri to help Just Mom’s STL – a Non-Profit Grassroots Organization who have been working over 2 years to bring awareness to the Community and to help them understand what they can do to keep the Communities on both sides of the Missouri River near the West Lake Complex safe from not only the underground Landfill fire with its Toxic non-radioactive fumes, but on what needs to be done to keep that fire from the Nuclear Weapons waste located in an adjacent landfill just 900 feet away.

Come join us on Facebook – West Lake Landfill
Or on YouTube to check out other videos from the event.

For Those wishing to email, mail, Facebook and/or Tweet either Bill & Melinda Gates or EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, please see the information below:

 

 
Bill & Melinda Gates:

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Main Office
500 Fifth Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 709-3100

Email: info@gatesfoundation.org

On Facebook visit:
billmelindagatesfoundation

Follow on Twitter @gatesfoundation

___________________________________________________________
Administrator Gina McCarthy:

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USEPA Headquarters
Administrator Gina McCarthy
William Jefferson Clinton Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460

Email: Gina McCarthy/DC/USEPA/US@EPA

Facebook: Administrator Gina McCarthy

Twitter: @GinaEPA

Environmental Activist To Address Bridgeton Landfill Concerns

Click here to listen to the Interview with Lois Gibbs by Veronique LaCapra - St. Louis Public Radio

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St. Louis On The Air
11:20 AM
THU OCTOBER 2, 2014

Environmental activist Lois Gibbs will be in St. Louis this weekend for a “teach-in” to address problems at the adjoining Bridgeton and West Lake landfills, located in Bridgeton a few miles from Lambert Airport.

The West Lake Landfill contains two known areas of World War II-era uranium processing residues, illegally dumped there in 1973. In 2010, an underground fire was reported at the south quarry of the Bridgeton Landfill. Not a fire in the traditional sense, it is a chemical reaction that produces temperatures higher than 170 degrees. At Bridgeton, temperatures have reached 300 degrees.

“If that fire reaches the radioactive waste, the smoke that comes out of that fire will be radioactive and it will increase the risks, which are already extraordinarily high, to the community that lives around there,” Gibbs said. “It’s totally insane. I don’t understand why they let it go for so long, and I don’t understand why they’re not doing something to protect the people today from both the radioactive contaminants as well as the burning fire landfill site.”

Gibbs became involved in environmental causes in the spring of 1978 when she discovered her son was attending a school built on top of a toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Three years later, she founded the Center for Health, Environment and Justice; Gibbs is now the organization’s executive director.

Health Department wants inclusive study of health problems near Coldwater Creek

A BIG Thank You to Dr. Gunn with the St. Louis County Health Department for addressing the health concerns of our Community.

Click Here for Link to KMOV Article Here

In a report issued today, here are some excerpts from the news report attached. This includes not only Cold Water Creek it is all of North St. Louis County and yes, this includes the communites around West Lake Landfill – 63043 and 63044:

“The Health Department does not want the study to focus on just cancer rates, but an entire range of health problems associated with radiation exposure.”

“People have a right to know if the environment they live in is safe for them and their families,” Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, said in a press release.

“We need to go beyond the years 1996 to 2011 and beyond just cancer rates to develop a more complete picture of what the people in and around Coldwater Creek are dealing with,” said Dr. Gunn. “We also need to determine if people are still being exposed to any environmental dangers,” she added.

Please send a Thank you to the St. Louis County Health Department for recognizing the health issues of our community.

Please continue to fill out the Health Survey attached in this link.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/coldwater_creek_missouri

Report: Higher cancer rates in areas near Cold Water Creek

Report: Higher cancer rates in areas near Cold Water Creek

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/09/23/cold-water-creek-north-st-louis-county-cancer-rates-report/16113757/

Leisa Zigman, KSDK 4:38 p.m. CDT September 23, 2014

COLD WATER CREEK

Cold water creek (Photo: KSDK)

Story Highlights

  • Report found higher numbers of cases of cancer, such as Leukemia, breast, colon and prostate cancer.
  • This is in sharp contrast to the first report issued by the state.

 ST. LOUIS COUNTY – Data released from the Department of Health and Senior Services confirms what people who have lived near Cold Water Creek have been saying for years. They feared the rare cancers they were getting at an early age were directly related to radioactive contamination in the creek.

But that data also has some mixed messages.

The state examined eight zip codes: 63031, 63033, 63034, 63042, 63043, 63044, 63134 and 63138. Compared to the rest of the state, there were significantly higher numbers of cases of cancer, including Leukemia, especially in zip codes 63031 and 63033; breast cancer; colon cancer; prostate cancer; kidney cancer; bladder cancer and brain cancers in children 17 or younger, especially in zip code 63043.

However, thyroid cancer, which is also associated with ionized radiation, was significantly lower when compared to the rest of the state.

RELATED: New investigation opened for Cold Water Creek

RELATED: Cold Water Creek group responds to new investigation

This is in sharp contrast to the first report issued by the state. After a lot of public outcry to include more zip codes and a greater number of years, this new data seems to validate in part what citizens have been saying.

Janell Wright and a group of her class of 1988 classmates from McCluer North High School produced alarming data obtained through their Facebook page, and even St. Louis County Health Director Delores Gunn felt more investigation was needed.

Dr. Gunn said, ‘I want to make sure we get the resources and responses the community needs because we all want to know what’s going on in our environment.”

When KSDK started covering Coldwater Creek and the possible link to cancer several years ago, there were 10 members on the Facebook page. Now, there are more than 10,000.

The Facebook group has documented a staggering number of cancers, birth defects and illnesses, and they are convinced the creek is the cause.

Diane Schanzenbach, one of the administrators of the Cold Water Creek Facebook page said, “This is a small step in the right direction, but this is just the tip of the iceberg…We still maintain there needs to be studies of those of us who grew up near the creek, but moved away. ”

In the 1940s, Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in downtown St. Louis purified thousands of tons of uranium to make the first atomic bombs, but the process also generated enormous amounts of radioactive waste.

Citing national security, the government quietly ordered the material moved to north St. Louis County in 1947. Twenty-one acres of airport land became a dumping site where a toxic mixture of uranium, thorium and radium sat uncovered or in barrels.

In the 1960s, government documents noted contents from the rusting barrels were seeping into nearby Coldwater Creek. By the 1990s, the government confirmed unsafe levels of radioactive materials in the water.

To read the new full report, check out the state of Missouri’s website.

To read the state’s letter asking federal authorities to assist with further investigation, see below.

MO DHSS Letter to CDC

September 18, 2014 Regional Community Meeting on West Lake Landfill

Concerned Citizen’s meeting to learn new and current status of not only the fire (subsurface smoldering event or SSE) in the south quarry of the Bridgeton Landfill, but the status of inputting a barrier between the fire and the nuclear waste in the West Lake Landfill and St. Louis County – Concerned Citizen’s meeting to learn new and current status of not only the fire (subsurface smoldering event or SSE) in the south quarry of the Bridgeton Landfill, but the status of inputting a barrier between the fire and the nuclear waste in the West Lake Landfill and the Community heard from Mr.Diedrich from LEPC – Local Emergency Planning Committee about Sheltering in Place if there is an incident at the landfill and that they are working on the evacuation plan in case it is needed.

Link to Video – Click Here

 

Just Mom’s STL has a Go Fund Me Page

 

Just Moms STL1

http://www.gofundme.com/a9wew0

We started a Go Fund Me in the hopes of raising money for independent soil sampling…we no longer feel we have to prove the science….we have moved into a more Critical Situation with St. Louis preparing for the potential of a Nuclear Weapons Waste Plume that could cover the entire St. Louis region.

We have been told we will learn what our zone’s will be so we will know if we are in an evacuation zone or a Shelter in Place zone and how to shelter in place and what tools/supplies are needed, depending on the severity of the situation.

There are many families that will not be able to afford an “emergency kit” duct tape and plastic for their windows….we will now need to focus on getting the necessary supplies especially for the minority and lower income families’ through our area.

To learn more, please visit our Face book page: West Lake Landfill and our website justmomsstl.org [aka stlradwastelegacy.com]

Thank You.

Just Moms STL