radioactive waste

West Lake Landfill
7:31 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Radium In Groundwater At West Lake Landfill Exceeds Federal Standard

This figure from the USGS West Lake Landfill groundwater report shows levels of radium in groundwater wells under and around the landfill. Red, orange, and yellow dots show radium contamination above the federal safe drinking water standard.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

Updated 12/18/14:

Groundwater under the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton is contaminated with unhealthy levels of radium.

That’s according to a U.S. Geological Survey report, released on Wednesday by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

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Bridgeton Landfill
9:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

State Says Bridgeton Landfill Owner Must Do More To Contain Fire's Spread

On this map, the location of the new temperature monitoring probes that Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources wants Republic Services to install is marked with a purple line.
Credit Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Updated 10/17/14: Republic Services has confirmed that it agreed on Thursday, in writing, to comply with all of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' requirements ― although the company remains committed to its position that the additional measures are not needed.

Our original story:

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More Testing
7:49 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Bridgeton Landfill Owner Agrees To New Measures To Monitor Underground Fire And Control Odors

The southeast corner of the Bridgeton Landfill, showing the plastic cap intended to keep gases from escaping.
Credit Missouri Department of Natural Resources

 UPDATED 6/20/14 to correct description of radioactivity testing along waste haul routes.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has reached a new agreement with Bridgeton Landfill owner Republic Services.

It includes additional measures that Republic must take to monitor the movement of an underground fire at the landfill and to control the foul odors ― and potentially toxic gases ― emanating from it.

Those measures include:

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West Lake Landfill
5:40 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Lawsuit Alleges West Lake Landfill Radiation Has Spread Off Site

A barbed-wire fence at the West Lake Landfill is intended to keep people out of the areas containing radioactive waste. But Friday's lawsuit alleges that radioactivity has spread off site.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that radiation from the West Lake Landfill has spread into surrounding neighborhoods, contaminating properties there.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains that the public is not at risk.

Attorney Daniel Finney, Jr., filed the suit on behalf of John James, who has lived near the landfill in Bridgeton for more than 30 years.

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Bridgeton And West Lake Landfills
8:32 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

EPA Analysis: Neighbors Could Be At Risk If Landfill Fire Reaches Radioactive Waste In Bridgeton

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit (Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

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Bridgeton and West Lake Landfills
8:24 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Confused About The Bridgeton And West Lake Landfills? Here's What You Should Know

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday morning, NPR reported that 13 employees at the only dedicated nuclear waste dump in the U.S. had inhaled radioactive material after a major accident earlier this month.

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Health & Science
10:52 am
Fri February 21, 2014

New Bridgeton Landfill Data Suggest Underground Fire Still Far From Radioactive Waste

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.
Credit Republic Services

Updated on 2/23/14 to correct the date of the 2013 CO measurements, and on 2/21/14 to add a data table from MDNR and more characterization of the recent CO measurements.

New monitoring data from the Bridgeton Landfill suggest that an underground fire has not spread toward radioactive waste to the north.

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Bridgeton Landfill
5:36 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Republic Services Will Expand Carbon Monoxide Testing At Bridgeton Landfill

Republic Services has agreed to expand the testing for carbon monoxide it does at its landfill in Bridgeton, where a subsurface fire has burned for more than three years.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

The company that owns a smoldering landfill in Bridgeton has agreed to perform additional testing for carbon monoxide at the site.

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Bridgeton Landfill
7:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Missouri Attorney General Demands More Monitoring Of Smoldering Landfill In Bridgeton

An underground fire was first detected at the Bridgeton Landfill in December, 2010.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants more air monitoring at the Bridgeton Landfill, where an underground fire has been smoldering for more than three years.

Attorney General Koster asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court on Thursday to order the landfill's owner to collect more data on carbon monoxide emissions.

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West Lake Landfill
11:13 am
Tue December 10, 2013

More Radioactive Material Detected At West Lake Landfill

Radiation warning sign posted on the West Lake Landfill perimeter fence in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit 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.

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