Véronique LaCapra

Science Reporter

Science reporter Véronique LaCapra first caught the radio bug writing commentaries for NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. After producing her first audio documentaries at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies in N.C., she was hooked! She has done ecological research in the Brazilian Pantanal; regulated pesticides for the Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Va.; been a freelance writer and volunteer in South Africa; and contributed radio features to the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in environmental policy and biology from Cornell. LaCapra grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and in her mother’s home town of Auxerre, France.


Bridgeton Landfill
8:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

EPA: Radioactive Wastes At West Lake Landfill Not A Health Risk

A fire has been smoldering underground at the Bridgeton Landfill (labeled "Former Active Sanitary Landfill" in this image) since late 2010. There is radioactive waste in the two purple regions labeled Operable Unit 1 Area 1 and Operable Unit 1 Area 2.
Credit Environmental Protection Agency report p. 15

The Environmental Protection Agency says radioactive wastes at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton are "contained" and "do not pose public health risks."

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Ameren - Coal Ash
5:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Environmental Groups Demand Groundwater Testing Near Ameren Power Plants

The approximate locations of drinking water wells in Franklin County (shown in red).
Credit (Map created for the Labadie Environmental Organization based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data)

Environmental groups are once again urging state officials to require groundwater monitoring at Ameren’s coal-fired power plants in eastern Missouri.

The Sierra Club and Labadie Environmental Organization submitted a letter to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on Thursday asking the state not to allow Ameren to build new coal ash landfills before testing groundwater for contamination.

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Elk Restoration
11:46 am
Wed May 22, 2013

39 More Elk Arrive In Missouri, Plus Another Born On The Way

These are among the 40 elk temporarily being kept in holding pens at MDC's Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
Missouri Department of Conservation

A total of 40 additional elk have arrived at Peck Ranch in southeastern Missouri, including a male calf born en route from Kentucky.

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Global Health
5:40 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Wash U To Engineer Bacteria To Kill Intestinal Parasites

An adult female roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) can reach over a foot in length.
Credit U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

A Washington University researcher has received a $100,000 global health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support research focused on preventing the transmission of parasitic diseases in developing countries.

Although there are drugs to help kill parasitic worms and their eggs in the human body, stopping their transmission in the environment is challenging.

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Bridgeton Landfill
4:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Odors Expected To Worsen During Bridgeton Landfill Construction

A new phase of construction slated for May 20 to June 14, 2013, is expected to increase gas emissions and odors at the Bridgeton Landfill.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Wednesday, May 22, 5:30 p.m.: The Department of Health & Senior Services is also posting its evaluations of the air monitoring data here. The regulatory standards that DHSS is using to estimate the health risks from landfill fumes are here.

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Business - Technology
5:40 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Major Boston-Area Startup Incubator To Join Wash U In New Cortex Facility

The new Cortex facility on Duncan Avenue will be known as @4240.
Credit HOK

One of the country’s largest startup incubators will soon be moving into the Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis.

The move marks Cambridge Innovation Center’s first expansion out of the Boston area, where it houses more than 500 small to mid-sized companies.

CIC’s president and CEO, Ranch Kimball, says he expects the new St. Louis facility to attract mostly technology startups, but says CIC will be open to a variety of businesses.

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Bridgeton Landfill
6:07 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Agreement Reached On Bridgeton Landfill, But Questions Still Remain

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster speaks to reporters about his preliminary agreement with Republic Services to address problems at the Bridgeton Landfill. Assistant Attorney General Joseph Bindbeutel looks on.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a preliminary agreement on Tuesday with the owner of the Bridgeton Landfill.

Koster filed a lawsuit against Republic Services six weeks ago, alleging violations of state environmental laws. A fire has been smoldering underground at the landfill for two and half years.

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Bridgeton Landfill
6:06 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Ruling Expected To Help Address Problems At Bridgeton Landfill

Ed Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, speaks at a press conference about the ongoing issues at the Bridgeton Landfill on May 13, 2013.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

A ruling is expected Tuesday morning related to the Missouri Attorney General's lawsuit against the owners of the Bridgeton Landfill.

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Bridgeton Landfill
4:24 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

State Posts More Air Sampling Results From The Bridgeton Landfill But Still Won't Discuss Them

An underground fire has been smoldering underground at the Bridgeton Landfill for almost two and half years.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:02 p.m. May 10 to reflect missing data has now been posted.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has released more air sampling results for the Bridgeton Landfill.

According to a written summary on the DNR's website, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services analyzed the data collected from mid-March through April 23 and found unhealthy levels of sulfur dioxide at two sites near the landfill.

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Health Care / Medicare
6:06 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Here's What St. Louis Regional Hospitals Charge For 100 Most Common Procedures

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

For the first time, the federal government has released the prices that hospitals charge for the 100 most common inpatient procedures.

The prices for a given procedure can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

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