A new analysis by scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests there could be risks to area residents if an underground fire were to reach radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill.
An underground fire has been smoldering at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill for more than three years and is now about 900 to 1,000 feet from the radioactive material.
There is increasing concern about the status of two landfills in Bridgeton as a slow-moving underground fire in the Bridgeton Landfill edges towards the adjacent West Lake Landfill. Radioactive waste left over from World War II was illegally dumped at West Lake in the 1970s.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is contracting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a fire break to keep an underground fire from reaching radioactive waste at the landfill complex in Bridgeton.
Members of Missouri's congressional delegation have issued a letter strongly urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to turn over responsibility for the clean-up of radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill as well as Representatives William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner signed the Feb. 28 letter addressed to EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks.
Map shows concentrations of carbon monoxide collected from gas extraction wells at the Bridgeton Landfill on January 24. Readings above 1,000 ppm indicate an underground fire. Radioactive waste is located north of the wells shown in purple.