CBS St. Louis
by Brett Blume
BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – There’s a new group entering the fray surrounding the underground fire near nuclear waste at the West Lake landfill in Bridgeton. Citing what she calls “deteriorating conditions” at the site, Susan Lorel Folle and her fellow members of StL Toxic Aware said it’s time to step up response efforts.>
“It’s time for the EPA to do a buyout, one mile from the landfill,” Folle said while picketing outside the Bridgeton Community Center on Fee Fee Rd. Monday evening. “There needs to be a state of emergency. We haven’t had any luck with getting the governor to do that.”
She said StL Toxic Aware fully supports the Just Moms STL group that has long protested conditions at the landfill, but Folle added that her group is calling for more direct action to deal with the situation, and in a more timely manner.
“We’ve done that. We’re done with dialog,” she insisted. “We want to get out on the streets and let people know what’s going on over at the landfill.”
KMOX News recently reported that the underground fire at the Bridgeton landfill is much closer than originally thought to the nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project.
At that time landfill spokesman Richard Callow released a statement saying the community now has a better idea of where the nuclear waste is located:
“EPA has determined that the radioactive impacted material (RIM) is not threatened by the underground smolder, which is neither moving into the north quarry nor into West Lake Landfill,” Callow said in the statement. “It has found no new risks to health. This all seems like a good and important step toward reaching a final decision by the end of year.”
Demands being made by StL Toxic Aware include:
1. Declare a state of emergency and negotiate a buyout for residents within one milre of the landfill.
2. EPA to respectfully include the community in discussions that will impact how the problem of the underground fire and radioactive waste will be solved, and include recommendations in the Record of Decision.
3. The EPA should seek a solution that does not include capping the radioactive materials.
4. Off-site testing of soil, as well as off-site ground water testing, per U.S. Geological Service recommendations.
5. Fully characterize the south and north quarries at the Bridgeton landfill.
“We think that the EPA needs to get with (landfill owner) Republic and take responsibility and they could do it right now,” according to Folle. “They could buy those people out that are suffering every single day.”