St. Louis Post-Dispatch
by Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS COUNTY • Twenty-seven owners of a farm adjacent to the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills sued the landfills’ owners and two landfill workers in St. Louis County Circuit Court Thursday, alleging that radioactive waste has contaminated the farm and family members.
The suit, filed by extended members of the family of the late Edward Boenker, says that radioactive waste that was improperly disposed of on the site has now spread to the farm. Boenker relatives have been exposed to radiation and have experienced “unusually high amount of cancers associated with and caused by radiation exposure,” the suit says. Some have died of cancer, it says.
The suit names Republic Services, the Arizona-based operator of the site, and several affiliated companies. Republic assumed ownership of the landfills after it merged with Allied Waste in 2008.
The 33-acre farm has been in operation since the 1800s, the law firm that filed the suit said in a statement.
“You can’t have people living in proximity of nuclear waste and not be responsible for it,” said Independence, Mo., lawyer Kenneth B. McClain, who filed the suit.
The suit says that landfill owners were negligent in improperly accepting the waste and failing to stop a fire that has burned for years.
In an email, a spokesman for the Bridgeton Landfill wrote, “The EPA, CDC, MDHSS and MDNR have been reviewing site data for years and continue to conclude that the community is safe,” referring to federal and state agencies that have examined the issue.
The suit was filed Thursday but did not appear in online court records until Tuesday.