Link to the West Lake Streaming Video site:

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For People out of town or who can’t make meetings can check out the archive of the Live Streaming events here. PLEASE pass this along to friends, family and neighbors…… West Lake Steaming Video

For all other meetings, please click on the YouTube link at the top of the page.  Thank You.

Individual Link:   West Lake Landfill – Release of the Cold Water Creek Health Survey Maps   and link to the slide presentation used during the meeting.  Thank you to Coldwatercreekfacts.com for sharing this information.

How St. Louis became a Legacy Site

Have you ever wondered how the sites in St. Louis City, North St. Louis County, St. Charles [Weldon Springs], Hematite [Jefferson County] in Missouri and Madison County, IL became contaminated?

The below document is a seven part series that ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch from February 12th – 19th, 1989.  Click Link Below for the 16 page story.

Legacy of The Bomb – St. Louis Nuclear Waste(1)

Legacy of The Bomb - St. Louis Nuclear Waste History

 

Video of the West Lake Landfill St Louis County Regional Public Meeting – April 17, 2014

Photo of the northeast corner of Bridgeton Landfill, Apr. 15, 2014 [Missouri Department of Natural Resources]

Video Link for Meeting

Concerned Citizens Meeting to learn the latest news on the sub-surface smoldering event [SSE] aka Fire at the Bridgeton Landfill that is less than 1000 ft from the West Lake Landfill that contains some of the actual waste from the Manhattan Project.

The Community is asking for Congress to moved the jurisdiction from the EPA to the St. Louis Army Corp of Engineers for Evaluation and Remediation via the FUSRAP program [Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program] to decide what is best, Encapsulate or Remove it via rail to a licensed site.
Please join us to help make our Community Safe again.

Mesh barrier to be placed at West Lake Landfill along St. Charles Rock Road

This article just came out!!!! This has to be of GREAT concern to our friends in Spanish Village an the Mobile home park. Please be at the meeting tomorrow night to discuss this.http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/mesh-barrier-to-be-placed-at-west-lake-landfill-along/article_0a32477d-a332-5b58-9c1c-af021b87e471.html

April, 16, 2014 By Blythe Bernhard bbernhard@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8129

The owners of the radioactive West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton will place a mesh barrier inside the fence along St. Charles Rock Road to capture “windblown solid waste” during an upcoming dig, according to an agreement effective today.

A mesh barrier on the western border of the landfill is part of the pre-construction plan for an isolation barrier between the landfill and the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill which is smoldering below ground. A settlement agreement effective today between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and landfill owners Bridgeton Landfill, LLC and Rock Road Industries, subsidiaries of Republic Services, outlines several tasks that need to be completed before construction on the isolation barrier starts. The settlement agreement does not include plans for the location or the placement of the isolation barrier.

A work plan is due in 30 days to show how contractors for the landfill owners will build the mesh barrier, clear any obstacles from the surface of the landfill, keep birds away and monitor the air for safety prior to the start of construction. The EPA also plans to monitor the air in and around the site to check for radioactive particles. The landfill owners can be fined up to $20,000 a day for not complying with the agreement.

“We think the schedule agreed to by EPA will allow work on the isolation barrier to proceed quickly and safely,” said Richard Callow, a spokesman for the landfill’s owners.

The EPA released a statement that reads in part: “Under the agreement, EPA must review these plans, and may approve, disapprove, require revisions to, or modify them, in whole or in part. EPA takes these reviews very seriously, and will not hesitate to direct changes, if necessary, so that the community remains safe.”

The landfill’s owners are responsible for paying for the work under the agreement.

“In the case of West Lake Landfill, this ensures that as work begins to prepare for the barrier construction, the public will not be stuck with the bill,” reads the EPA statement.

The agreement comes days after a longtime Bridgeton resident sued Republic Services on claims that radiation from the landfill has spread to nearby properties, potentially affecting the health of residents and workers.

A main area of concern is the ball fields at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex less than a mile from the radioactive landfill. St. Charles Rock Road, where the mesh barrier will be installed, runs between the landfill and the ball fields.

The EPA has said that contamination is contained in the West Lake site based on results from a radiation-detecting plane that flew over the area last year.

Moms want to test for radiation in Bridgeton

Click Here to see video of the story.

Casey Nolen, KSDK     10:55 p.m. CDT April 15, 2014

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) – If the federal government won’t test for radiation, some West Lake Landfill neighbors say they’ll do it themselves.

Dawn Chapman and her group, Just Moms STL, plan to deploy radiation detectors in St. Louis County by the end of the week.

They hope to monitor the air for any possible high levels of radiation that they believe could be coming from the nearby West Lake Landfill, where old nuclear waste is buried.

Politicians purchased Geiger counters for these birdhouse-like stationary sensors.

Tuesday, an attorney, who is suing the landfill, gifted the group a $16,000 portable radiation detection lab called Gamma Pal. Chapman says they’ll hire a certified contractor to operate it – paid for with community dollars.

Chapman says she’d rather not use the device at all. She’s told the EPA she has it, and hope that will encourage the agency to start its own testing sooner than it plans.

“I would love nothing more than at the end of this week, somebody to say ‘my god, this community is desperate, someone help them right now,’” she said.

The EPA said it does plan to start testing for radiation for the first time, outside West Lake’s boundaries.

They say the timeline could be less than six months. The agency still insists that the site is safe.

Law firm donates radiation detector to residents around West Lake Landfill

April 15, 2014   By Blythe Bernhard bbernhard@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8129 and Robert Patrick rpatrick@post-dispatch.com 314-621-5154

A lawyer who is suing the owners of West Lake Landfill has donated a $16,000 radiation detector to a group of concerned residents who live near the Bridgeton site.

The group Just Moms StL received from the Finney Law Office today a GammaPal device that can detect radiation in soil. A main area of concern is the ball fields at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex less than a mile from the radioactive landfill.

“Nobody knows for sure if it’s safe for kids to be on it right now,” said Dawn Chapman, one of the co-founders of Just Moms StL.

Daniel Finney Jr. donated the machine “to provide frustrated residents an opportunity to answer questions for themselves and to force a resolution to the controversy of contamination outside the landfill.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that the radioactive contamination is contained in the West Lake site where waste generated by uranium processing was dumped in the 1970s. The agency has not indicated any soil testing has been done outside the landfill’s boundaries. Dust from nearby areas, including a residence and the Bridgeton ball fields, was tested by the state last year and found to be at acceptable levels.

A spokesman for Republic Services released a statement Friday that said “EPA has determined and recently confirmed that nobody can be exposed to radiation from West Lake outside the barbed-wire fence that surrounds the site.”

On Friday, Finney filed a lawsuit against Republic Services and others on behalf of a Bridgeton man who has lived near the landfill for more than 30 years. The lawsuit claims radiation from the landfill has spread to nearby properties, potentially affecting the health of residents and workers.

The lawsuit is based on preliminary information from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Ed Smith of the coalition said tests on soil samples taken this year from various sites outside the landfill indicate high levels of radiation. Smith declined to name the test sites and the exact results.

About a month ago, Just Moms StL had four soil samples tested from the athletic complex. The results did not show elevated levels of radiation. The information from the environmental coalition and the lawsuit led the residents to pursue more in-depth soil testing. The group also plans to install two $500 air monitors to check for radioactive particles in the Spanish Village neighborhood.

The athletic complex is owned and operated by the city of Bridgeton. John Bell, Bridgeton’s athletic supervisor, said he didn’t know of any soil testing at the complex.

“Should any testing be conducted without prior written approval by the city of Bridgeton, it would be considered trespassing,” he said.

In light of the recently published article about additional rad waste found offsite.

First of all, about a month ago, us Mom’s had gotten wind of possible migrating to Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Association BMAC….we decided it would be in the community’s best interest to test with the money we had available at the time. We had enough funds to get four soil samples. Of those four samples, from what we could tell, nothing came back elevated or a level of concern

 Now however, after learning there has been additional testing occurring, we went to the source to find out what we could. All we know is there were 14 samples taken and 12 of them came back elevated. We have been told, testing took place in various locations such as….Spanish Village, BMAC, the canals along the Pattonville Fire Department Administrations Offices, and Rams Park. We DO NOT know the elevated levels, or which areas came back the hottest. All we know is this: Radioactive Toxic Waste Materials Contamination was found off site!! Somewhere OUTSIDE of the magic fence.

 It was in our original plans to discuss the testing the MOMS did at our next meeting Thursday, but with the release of the latest article, we wanted everyone to know where things stood with the Just Moms Stl. group and our own independent testing. We will be discussing all of this in more detail, as well as our new monitoring equipment in place.

All of our meetings are important, but we feel this is going to be one of the most important meetings we will have to date. Please fill your cars, bring your neighbors, family. Tell everyone about our upcoming meeting. This commUnity has some very critical decisions to be making and we would really like to have input from everyone.

 Please attend the CommUnity Meeting, Thursday, International Operating Engineers hall 3449 Hollenburg, Bridgeton, Mo at 6:30pm. See you there!!!!

April 17, 2014 Community Meeting.2

 

 

Lawsuit: West Lake Landfill radioactivity has spread off-site

April 11, 2014  By Robert Patrick rpatrick@post-dispatch.com 314-621-5154 and Blythe Bernhard bbernhard@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8129

ST. LOUIS • A lawyer for a man who has lived near the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton for more than 30 years, and the lawsuit that he filed Friday, say for the first time that radiation has spread to nearby properties, potentially impacting the health of local residents and employees.

“We have confirmation of radioactive contamination on multiple scattered sites, some a significant distance from the landfill, which are at levels that require remediation,” wrote lawyer Daniel Finney Jr., who filed the suit, in an email in response to questions from the Post-Dispatch. “Given the history of West Lake Landfill these results are hardly surprising,” he wrote.

Finney declined to comment in detail about the testing that had been done, but said that it had been performed at multiple locations.

“We are confident that the results are the reality of the situation up there,” he said.

The suit was filed on behalf of John James, a resident of the nearby Spanish Village neighborhood, against landfill owner Republic Services and others, and seeks approval for class-action status to represent property owners within three miles of the landfill.

It says that the activities at the landfill were “abnormally dangerous,” both because of their release of radioactive and toxic materials and their proximity to residential neighborhoods.

Area residents and employees of nearby businesses have long complained of the odors from the smoldering waste at the adjacent Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, and expressed fears of what could happen should the fire spread to West Lake, where waste generated by uranium processing was diluted with soil and used to cover refuse in the 1970s.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reevaluating its 2008 decision to cap the radioactive waste at West lake rather than remove it, driven by community concerns and the proximity of the underground fire. An underground barrier is also in the works between the two landfills.

In a letter to the Post-Dispatch published in February, Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator, wrote that, “Scientific evidence shows no one living or working around West Lake is experiencing harmful exposures to its hazardous contaminants, including the radiologically contaminated materials, because the EPA has securely contained them.”

A spokesman for Republic Services, the company that owns West Lake, declined to comment, saying he and the company had not yet seen the suit.

They recently launched a lobbying group that seeks to keep the waste at the landfill rather than having it excavated and shipped by rail to a nuclear dump site in the western U.S.

Although there has been testing on the West Lake site and of the area air and groundwater on multiple occasions, and dust in 2013, no public agency appears to have tested the soils farther away for radioactivity, or at least publicly announced that they were testing.

Ed Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment said they collected soil samples from around the landfill for independent testing. Preliminary results show some of the samples indicate radioactive contamination above acceptable background levels.

Dawn Chapman of Maryland Heights, who leads a community group on landfill issues, said nearby residents are most concerned about the youth ball fields at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex less than a mile from the landfill.

“I can guarantee you that’s where everybody’s minds are going to go,” Chapman said. “There are going to be a lot of really, really scared people in Bridgeton tonight.”

Robert Patrick covers federal courts and federal law enforcement for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter: @rxpatrick.

Why are Lafayette County Republicans interested in West Lake Landfill?

April 10, 2014  By Blythe Bernhard bbernhard@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8129

Republic Services recently launched the Coalition to Keep Us Safe, a lobbying group to promote keeping the nuclear waste buried at West Lake Landfill. The coalition’s hired spokeswoman Molly Teichman is from Warrensburg, one hour southeast of Kansas City. Teichman is a conversative blogger who is connected to the Lafayette County Republicans. State Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer is a Republican from Lafayette County and is an outspoken supporter of the coalition. Teichman and Kolkmeyer are longtime friends of Kay Hoflander, chair of the Lafayette County Republicans, who has distributed press releases for the coalition.

Hoflander’s son, Russ Knocke, is the director of field communications and public affairs for landfill owner Republic Services.

“My mom is a volunteer for a lot of righteous causes,” Knocke said. “Now that she’s become aware of some of the issues, she certainly doesn’t like the idea of waste being transported through the community.”

Hundreds of residents of Bridgeton, Maryland Heights and nearby areas have been pushing for years for the cleanup of West Lake Landfill. An underground fire at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill has brought increased attention from Missouri’s U.S. senators, local environmental groups and the media. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reevaluating its 2008 decision to place a rock, clay and soil cap over West Lake because of public opposition and concerns about the fire, which could damage the cap.

Under the EPA’s Superfund site program, Republic Services is at least partly responsible for the cleanup costs at West Lake. One of the options the EPA is considering would involve the excavation and transport of the waste by covered rail to a nuclear storage facility in the western U.S. Nuclear waste from other sites downtown and near the airport has been hauled out of the St. Louis area this way since the 1990s.

The coalition against hauling the West Lake waste claims 30 supporters from across the state who are labeled concerned citizens, veterans or environmentalists. They are listed on the website only by a first name and last initial. The coalition’s spokeswoman Teichman said none of them can be interviewed because it is an emotional topic and they would be subject to ridicule.

Blythe Bernhard covers health and medicine for the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on twitter @blythebernhard

McClellan: Auto repair shop next door to Hades is forced to move

April 9, 2014 By Bill McClellan bmcclellan@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8143 A cap meant to alleviate odors covers Republic Services’ Bridgeton Landfill on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. Stephanie S. Cordle, scordle@post-dispatch.com

Dan’s Automotive Service is at the end of Boenker Lane.It is where the world ends. Right up against Dan’s place is Hades.

Hades pops up out of the earth and rises like a blister from the soil. A huge hill of waste, a fire simmering underground, radioactive waste somewhere nearby. A heavy-duty tarp has been placed over the hill. Pipes stick out of the tarp. A constant hissing sound is heard as pumps push gas and water out through the pipes. An odor often drifts from the blister.

“It can get rank,” said Dan Rose.

Such is life next to the Bridgeton Landfill.

Not a bad life, actually. Dan’s Automotive Service has been a successful business for years. It has provided a living for Rose, his wife and two full-time mechanics.

But last month, the owners of the landfill gave Rose notice. They need his land for a leachate line, part of a construction project designed to control odors. Rose has to shut his business at the end of this month.

I visited Monday.

The fellow who told me about the auto shop warned me that it would look run-down. It does. Why shouldn’t it? It gets no drive-by traffic. Rose does no advertising. Business comes by word of mouth. Honest, quality work in a bad location. If you don’t mind coming right next to Hades — I mean right next to Hades! — and you don’t expect a fancy waiting room, this could be your repair shop. Rose also does state inspections.

He has worked at this spot since 1970. That’s when Dean’s Automotive Service moved to the site. Rose had been working as a mechanic at Dean’s since graduating from Ritenour High School in 1968. Back in 1970, the landfill was a quarry. A hole in the ground.

He bought the business from Dean in 1984. Dean’s Automotive Service became Dan’s Automotive Service. Rose had a lease.

The years went by. Rose and his wife raised their three children. They employed people. They paid taxes. They did not get rich.

That was fine. Rose had a plan. He’d work until he was 65 or 66, and then he’d sell the business and retire. The sale of the business would provide him with a nest egg, which would be supplemented with Social Security.

Eventually, the quarry became a hill of waste. Then things got messy. In 2010, elevated temperatures were detected in gas extraction wells. Tests revealed a “subsurface smoldering event.” Laypeople call it an underground fire. Technically, it is not a traditional fire, but a chemical reaction that produces high temperatures.

The underground fire, or subsurface smoldering event, was headed toward the radioactive waste in the nearby West Lake Landfill. Last year, the attorney general said the fire was 1,000 feet from that waste.

Estimates were that the smoldering event would reach the radioactive waste in one to three years. Then a “landfill expert” told St. Louis Public Radio that if the chemical reaction consumed enough material to cause a hole underground, the landfill could cave in and the smoldering event could reach the surface as a real fire and spread more quickly.

What I mean is, there was no good news.

Rose figured his time was limited. He was not surprised to get the heave-ho.

It was, as these things go, a gentle heave-ho. He was given a $10,000 termination payment that was not part of any agreement. His lease was the last of several to be terminated.

Still, he is now 64. He will have no business to sell. Unless he can find a place to move — and it will be hard to match the $800 monthly rent he was paying — he will probably have to sell his equipment at auction. Then he will have to look for work himself, or retire a little earlier than he had planned.

Republic Services, the Arizona firm that owns both the Bridgeton Landfill and the West Lake Landfill, is Rose’s landlord and has been since it bought his property in 2008.

Republic spokesman Richard Callow said, “We are sad to see Dan’s have to go. We think we’ve treated them fairly. We really wish it weren’t necessary to do anything. But, we are, as we have said repeatedly, committed to getting the odor from the subsurface smolder under control. And the leachate conveyance line that will be built on the site is an important component of that.”

Callow added that Dan’s Automotive Service used to repair facility vehicles and was a favorite of the local manager.