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.
Updated at 1:25 p.m. to add statement from Republic Services, and at 6:00 p.m. to add comments from EPA.
More radioactive material has been found at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.
The material was detected during radioactivity testing in preparation for the construction of a trench. That trench will separate radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill from an underground fire smoldering at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the construction of the firebreak trench.
Preliminary work to build a firebreak at the Bridgeton Landfill will begin next week. But a local environmental group is worried about what it could stir up.
To figure out where they can safely dig the trench that will separate the underground fire from the radioactive waste, contractors will test the soil for radioactivity. That involves clearing trees and shrubs away from where the firebreak will be built.