EPA: Ballfields near Bridgeton Landfill are safe, but will be tested anyway

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by AP and Ray Preston / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 11:08 PM

BRIDGETON, Mo. (AP) -- Radiation testing at a baseball complex near a suburban St. Louis Superfund site will be completed by late this month and results should be available 30-60 days after that, the Environmental Protection Agency's regional chief said Friday.

Earlier this week, the EPA announced plans to undertake testing at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Louis County. EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks was in Bridgeton Friday to outline how the testing would work.

Samples will be collected the week of May 19, then sent to a lab for evaluation. Results are expected by mid-July.

The EPA examination follows private testing performed earlier this spring on behalf of concerned residents, tests that indicated raised levels of radiation in drainage areas near the complex used by thousands of people each week.

"There is no health hazard," said Bridgeton Mayor Conrad Bowers . "There is no credible evidence to shut anything down."

Brooks said the testing that wasn't done by an outside group did not follow sound science.

"Of course they have the right to do the work," said Brooks. "But the information generated did not follow any of the accepted scientific or engineering protocols that governments, including the EPA, but also other governments, use to make decisions about radiation screening."

An attorney who is leading a lawsuit against the landfill's owner said the testing done on the ballfields was reliable.

"He doesn't know the protocol that was used for the test results that he was provided by the St. Louis Moms' group that was very clear," said Attorney Dan Finney "Nobody up there knows the protocol. I know what the protocol was and I expect it to be admitted into evidence in federal court as reliable."

Nearby residents Dawn Chapman is also skeptical of the EPA's test results.

"He talks about science and about being able to see science and see data," said Chapman. "We agree we want to see scientific data that validates there is nothing on that field and nothing off-site."

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