Trains could carry radioactive waste from Westlake Landfill thou - KMOV.com

Trains could carry radioactive waste from Westlake Landfill though St. Charles County

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ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Residents in St. Charles County are familiar with seeing trains. Locomotives roll through the county several times a day, but a topic under discussion involving the Westlake Landfill has some on edge.

If a decision is made to remove radioactive waste from Westlake, railways could end up transporting it. A derailment is always a risk near any set of tracks, but if train carrying radioactive waste is the one that derails, it could be a catastrophe.

“Basically, what we want is to have the trains run at a slower speed coming through the towns,” said St. Peters Alderman Rock Reitmeyer. “We don't want to see any accidents coming through our area and dropping all this waste. It could have a hazardous effect.”

But slowing down the trains won't be easy. Cities cannot set their own speed limits for the railroads; that falls under the authority of the federal government. Speed limits are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration and railroads implement their own limits.

Earlier this year the Obama administration required freight rail companies to impose 40 mile per hour limits on some trains carrying crude oil, ethanol or other flammable materials that run near major cities. Reitmeyer said he hopes Missouri may lobby Congress to give towns the right to impose their own speed limits.

A spokesman for the railroad company Norfolk Southern declined to comment on Reitmeyer’s idea.

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