Blunt, Hawley and Wagner demand answers from EPA on West Lake Landfill
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Missouri U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley and Congresswoman Ann Wagner sent a letter to the EPA Wednesday pressing for a clear timeline on cleanup of the West Lake Landfill. News 4 has exclusively obtained a copy of the letter, which was sent to EPA administrator Michael Regan.
The letter points out that in 2018 the EPA announced it would remove 70% of the radioactive material from the Superfund site and that the cleanup was estimated to take 4 and 1/2 years. The design phase was estimated to take 18 months, but the EPA has said its completion may stretch into 2023.
Last week, News 4 spoke with frustrated residents who’ve been pushing for cleanup of the landfill after years of inaction. Dawn Chapman is a Maryland Heights resident and a member of the citizen group called, Just Moms STL.
“There are all these different goal posts that we have to hit before we get a shovel in the ground, and I think the agencies have to do a better job with that in explaining what they are and where we are in this process. and how long that’s going to take,” she said.
Radioactive waste from the processing of uranium for the Manhattan Project was illegally dumped at the West Lake Landfill in the 1970′s.
In response to News 4′s questions about the delays, an EPA spokesman said the discovery of radioactive material in new locations required additional soil sampling to create a more accurate map of where the material is located. The spokesman said the agency didn’t know how many more borings needed to be drilled but that the field work was expected to be completed in the Spring.
The letter from Blunt, Hawley and Wagner said recent reports of delays are concerning. The letter went on to state the failure to provide the public with a clear, specific timeline to complete the project is unacceptable.
News 4 has reached out to the EPA to get a response.
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