- As the Bridgeton, MO landfill fire moves closer to the radioactive waste-filled West Lake landfill, 15 new reports filed by Republic Services — a requirement of a lawsuit against the company due to environmental violations — show the sites are safe and under control.
- Radioactive materials in the soil, dumped in West Lake landfill in the 1970s, do not pose any immediate or short-term health risks to workers or neighbors, wrote Paul Rosasco of Colorado-based Engineering Management Support. Radioactive measurements detected in nearby trees are at naturally occurring levels, he said.
- The court case is expected to go to trial in 2016 and, meanwhile, the EPA announced that a strategy to separate the landfills with a fire break would be put in place by the end of 2015.
While Engineering Management Support and the Environmental Protection Agency say the radioactive landfill poses no public health risk to workers or residents, the issue is still very much in the public light.
A September report presented by Missouri Attorney general Chris Koster showed radiative material migrated off-site and contaminated nearby trees and groundwater, prompting St. Louis County and several school districts to release emergency evacuation plans, and causing anxiety among parents and residents.
While EPA Region 7’s acting administrator Mark Hague said there was no serious threat of contamination, the agency will expect Republic Services to develop "a more aggressive and robust incident plan" for surface fires, including increased surveillance, more preventive measures and "better fire suppression," according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"We are going to work with our partners in the state and other agencies to make sure that happens, and we are prepared to use all of our authorities to get Republic to do that work," Hague said.