EPA: No contamination in homes near Bridgeton landfill - KMOV.com

EPA: No contamination in homes near Bridgeton landfill

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Bridgeton Landfill (Credit: KMOV) Bridgeton Landfill (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An Environmental Protection Agency examination found no radioactive contamination in a neighborhood that sits near a suburban St. Louis landfill where nuclear waste is buried, the agency said Thursday.

As a result, no remediation is necessary in the Spanish Village neighborhood in Bridgeton, Missouri, the EPA said.

The agency tested two homes in December after a lawsuit was filed that cited private testing had indicated high levels of radiation. A law firm said last week that additional private testing found radiation at four more homes, prompting a second lawsuit.

But EPA Acting Region 7 Administrator Edward Chu said in a statement that the agency "collected and analyzed over 140 samples, and our evaluation of the data shows no Manhattan Project waste was found in the homes sampled in Spanish Village."

Cold War-era nuclear waste was illegally buried four decades ago at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton. Underground smoldering is occurring in the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill. The EPA has ordered the installation of an isolation barrier to prevent the underground fire — the cause of which is unknown — from reaching the nuclear waste at West Lake, which was declared a Superfund site in 1990.

Dawn Chapman, a resident who lives near the landfill, called the finding "disappointing" but stood by the claim that homes near the landfill are contaminated.

"It's a sad situation," she said.

The EPA said it screened areas within and around the homes. Results of soil and dust sampling showed no elevated levels of alpha, beta or gamma radiation, the EPA said.

Russ Knocke, vice president of communications and public affairs for Republic Services, is fed up with what he calls alarmist claims. This latest finding, he believes, should lay those fears to rest. 

“Either listen to the scientists or the trial attorneys. It’s that simple now. For too long, out of state trial attorneys have been victimizing the community. They’ve had politicians and activists doing their bidding, making ridiculous, alarmist claims," he said. "They’ve intimidated, scared and confused people. We now have five federal and state agencies, who are the authorities on public health and environment, saying enough. They’ve tested the neighborhood. They found nothing. Enough is enough.”

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