- Missouri politicians are trying to push a federal law to strip the EPA of its control over West Lake Landfill, claiming that the EPA has been too slow in cleaning up the radioactive waste, which is concerningly close to the nearby Bridgeton landfill fire.
- Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and representatives Ann Wagner and William Lacy Clay, introduced the legislation to have the Army Corps of Engineers oversee the dump. The Army Corps handled cleanup of St Louis’ radioactive Coldwater Creek and was slated to work with the EPA on a fire break between the two landfills. The project did not launch, in part because the perimeter of the nuclear waste is undetermined.
- West Lake Landfill is designated by the EPA as among the most toxic sites in the U.S.
"The EPA's unacceptable delay in implementing a solution for the West Lake Landfill has destroyed its credibility and it is time to change course," said Blunt in a statement.
EPA announced earlier this fall that it would have a plan in place by the end of 2015 to prevent Bridgeton Landfill’s fire from spreading to West Lake Landfill. The smoldering fire and its proximity to the radioactive materials have for some time triggered fear and concern.
Senator Claire McCaskill punctuated Blunt’s call for new action, publicly stating, "We've heard loud and clear that [residents] want the West Lake site transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers' program … This legislation is not a silver bullet, and will take far longer than we'd like to resolve the many issues surrounding this site. But this is a concrete, positive step forward in a process that's been stagnant for far too long."
Republic Services, owners of the landfill, oppose transferring control to the Army Corps, contending that it would even further delay a decision and permanent solution.