Residents, lawmakers and EPA dispute how to proceed with West La -

Residents, lawmakers and EPA dispute how to proceed with West Lake Landfill

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

( – A state lawmaker says it’s time to remove the radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfille before the situation gets worse.

State Representative Bill Otto is hosting a meeting Monday night at Pattonville High School.

Otto says he needs to tell this community why it’s time for the EPA to act for residents in north St. Louis County.

“I believe the EPA should declare this an emergency removal and get the radioactive waste out of the landfill now,” he said.

The EPA is monitoring the West Lake Landfill and has the final say if radioactive waste buried there needs to be removed. 

Neighbors, who’ve been wondering about the potential impact on their health, side with Otto.

“I think they should yes,” said Beth Roberts. “I think it should be cleared completely, not use a pretty coating.”

An EPA spokesperson said Monday, the situation at the landfill doesn’t meet the criteria for emergency removal, since the EPA hasn’t found any evidence residents are being directly exposed to the contaminants. Still, Otto says that response is not enough.

“I feel we need to protect the community before this stuff gets airborne before it’s a problem,” he said.  “If the EPA wants to sit and say when it’s airborne, we’ll protect you, I can’t accept that, I will not accept that.”

The EPA is still considering how to fix the issues at the West Lake Landfill and says that removal is still an option, but a decision won’t be made on this for at least a year.


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