- The EPA has ordered surface fire prevention for the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, MO, following a recent grass fire at the site. EPA Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague is giving 21 days for companies associated with the landfill — such as Bridgeton Landfill LLC, Rock Road Industries Inc., and Cotter Corp. — to devise a plant to replace trees and brush with non-combustible material, and to establish air monitoring of the site.
- The order also requires the companies to devise an incident management plan within two weeks. The EPA was able to reach an agreement on an enforceable schedule to evaluate "remedial alternatives," according to Waste 360.
- Republic Services, which owns both the West Lake Landfill and the nearby Bridgeton Landfill, said the company will complete the job "in a safe and timely manner," according to CBS.
Issues surrounding the West Lake Landfill and the nearby Bridgeton Landfill have been looming for far too long, as Bridgeton Landfill's smoldering fire and its proximity to the West Lake's radioactive materials have triggered fear and concern.
The 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. Now, with only three weeks left in the year, the EPA is down to the wire to find a solution to the problem.
"This EPA order requires swift action by the parties to ensure that the risks of a surface fire, and the effects of any potential surface fire, are greatly reduced," Hague said. "EPA will continue to use its authority at the site to protect surrounding communities from any potential threats posed by the West Lake Landfill."
In 2008, the EPA had announced a remediation plan to cap West Lake's nuclear waste with rock and soil. However, the plan drew opposition, and the EPA failed to devise a new plan until now.
"Common-sense would have been for the EPA to do this in 1995 when a surface fire was reported to them," said Ed Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.