(KMOV) -- A fire underneath the closed Bridgeton sanitary landfill and the stinky smell it puts off has raised new concerns about what’s buried at the neighboring landfill.
The Westlake Landfill is an EPA Superfund cleanup site, where tons of radioactive waste was dumped illegally in the 1970s. Concerns about the fire spreading to the radioactive material raised new concerns about what to do about the Westlake Landfill.
The EPA has decided it’s safest to leave the material buried at the Westlake Landfill. But some local residents and environmentalist believe the material should be dug out and sent to an approved and safe radioactive waste landfill.
The Missouri Coalition for the environment brought in international nuclear weapons Waste Expert Robert Alvarez to do a study on the landfill and the risks it poses. His report concludes that the safer choice would be to remove the material and send it to an approved nuclear waste site.
He presented his study and his recommendation at a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday and will be going over the material at a public meeting at 6:30pm.
The radioactive waste was the byproduct of uranium processing during the Cold War in 40’s and 50’s at the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works plant in St. Louis. Tests conducted by the EPA showed the radioactive material doesn’t pose a risk to neighboring businesses or residents in the area. And tests found radiation levels above the maximum contaminant level in groundwater, but only on an isolated sporadic basis. They said there were no plumes of contaminated groundwater migrating from the site.