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EPA reports no evidence of Manhattan Project waste in Bridgeton homes

This radiation warning sign is one of many posted on the chain link fence surrounding part of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
File photo | Sarah Skiold-Hanlin | St. Louis Public Radio
This radiation warning sign is one of many posted on the chain link fence surrounding part of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.

The Environmental Protection Agency has found no evidence of radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project in two Bridgeton homes close to the West Lake Landfill Superfund site. 

Federal officials began testing homes in late 2016 in response to a lawsuit filed in November by a married couple in the Spanish Village subdivision against landfill owner Republic Services and 10 other companies.

"We collected and analyzed over 140 samples and the results show that there is no Manhattan Project waste in the homes and no reason for EPA to conduct any additional work in those homes," said Curtis Carey, spokesperson for EPA region 7.

The study also showed that radioactive materials in the two houses were within normal levels. 

In their lawsuit, Robbin and Michael Dailey, alleged that their home contained significant levels of radioactive materials in their home that came from the Superfund site, after scientists hired by environmental attorneys tested their property. Since then, the lawyers have continued to test several homes in Spanish Village. They claimed last week that four more homes had become contaminated by the landfill. 

"Now the community must decide whether to listen to scientists or trial lawyers," said Russ Knocke, Republic Services' vice president of communications and public affairs.

Members of the community have also criticized the regulators' decision to hire the environmental consulting firm Tetra Tech to sample the Spanish Village homes. In 2011, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found that employees of Tetra Tech had falsified surveys of a different contaminated site in California. 

"I don't think, in my opinion, that this is going to put many people at ease," said Dawn Chapman, area resident and co-leader of the activist group Just Moms STL. 

Follow Eli on Twitter: @storiesbyeli

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