Bridgeton landfill

Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

(Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio)

A nuclear policy analyst is adding his voice to those of area residents, environmental advocates and local government officials who want radioactive wastes out of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.

Robert Alvarez served as a senior policy advisor in the Department of Energy under the Clinton administration and is currently a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:07 p.m.

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.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

This isn't the first time a fire has smoldered underground at the landfill in Bridgeton.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment says another subsurface fire burned there in 1993.

They found a reference to that fire in an old report related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's management of radioactive waste at the landfill.

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Attorney General Chris Koster has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency to conduct radioactivity tests at the West Lake landfill in Bridgeton that were delayed because of the government shutdown.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:40 p.m. to add Missouri Coalition for the Environment letter and comment from Republic Services.

The fire within the Bridgeton Landfill is still smoldering and now the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is ordering the company which operates the landfill to install additional temperature monitors to track the fire.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

A suburban St. Louis lawmaker is calling for the removal of nuclear waste from a landfill near Lambert Airport.

Underground smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill has created a foul odor so strong that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued the landfill owner, Republic Services.

Bridgeton Landfill is part of the larger West Lake Landfill. Another area of West Lake contains nuclear waste from the Cold War era.

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."

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.

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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