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Missouri Coalition For The Environment: Experts Brief Missouri Public Officials About Nuclear Weapons Waste And Landfill Fire Risks At Republic Services' West Lake/Bridgeton Landfill

Community, Environmental, Labor Coalition Presents Demands

ST. LOUIS, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two independent experts briefed public officials from the St. Louis region today about their assessment of the risks posed by the fire and nuclear weapons wastes at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo. The landfill sits in an urban area in the Missouri River floodplain. The landfill is owned and operated by Republic Services [NYSE: RSG] – a multi-billion dollar waste company based in Arizona.


Republic's landfill has been in the news recently due to citizen complaints about persistent stench, the expanding underground fire, a recent explosion, and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) investigation of radiation levels and groundwater contamination.

The EPA announced this week that it has detected radiation at the site while flying its anti-terrorism ASPECT plane overhead, but has not yet reported any details. The ASPECT plane was recently used to scan President Obama's Inauguration and the Super Bowl for chemical traces that might indicate a dirty bomb or other chemical threat[i].

Public officials representing communities that surround the Republic Services-owned landfill heard testimony about the risks that the currently expanding landfill fire poses to residents in the St. Louis area, especially in the presence of untreated nuclear weapons wastes at the site.

Radioactive wastes dumped at the West Lake Landfill in 1973 sit in the Missouri River floodplain with no protective barriers between the wastes and the groundwater. The site is located 8 river miles upstream from where drinking water is pulled for more than 300,000 North St. Louis County residents. 

The EPA has jurisdiction over the radiological contamination while the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has jurisdiction over the remainder, including the underground landfill fire.

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