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West Lake Landfill: How to submit feedback on EPA cleanup plan

The West Lake Landfill, in the distance, sits adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
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The West Lake Landfill, in the distance, sits adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill in this photo taken earlier this month.

Updated on March 5 to note new deadline for public comments  — The Environmental Protection Agency has released its plan for cleaning up radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill.

But officials say they still want to hear from community members on all the proposed remedies, not just the one the agency selected.

The EPA asked for feedback on three elements of its plan: Does the EPA’s proposed excavation plan address public concerns regarding the thoroughness of the removal? How should excavation differ between waste areas? And, where should the radioactive material go after it’s removed? Access all the plan’s documents on the EPA’s website.

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Residents can attend a public meeting on March 6 at the District 9 Machinists Hall in Bridgeton to comment in person. To speak at the meeting, people must register. The EPA describes registration as “first-come, first-serve.” Contact Ben Washburn, community involvement coordinator, by email at washburn.ben@epa.gov to register.

Written comments can be submitted online, through email or through mail at R7_WestLakeLandfillPublicComments@epa.gov. To use a comment form, go to the EPA’s website.

Written comments may be sent by mail and postmarked by April 23 to Ben Washburn, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, Kansas, 66219.

The agency proposed removing waste up to 16 feet if it’s at or over a certain concentration of radioactivity; other remedies include other suggested depths and concentrations. It is also considering how to properly address Area 1, which is closer to residential areas and contains about 25 percent of the site’s radioactivity, and Area 2, which contains 75 percent of the contamination, generally closer to the surface.

The agency did not evaluate off-site disposal for its selected remedy. This means it’s still considering both on- and off-site disposal for the removed waste.

Once the EPA receives public comments, it will consult with Missouri officials to determine a final solution. The EPA could change details in its current proposal or select an entirely different method, according to the agency’s proposed plan documents.

The public comment period runs from Feb. 6 through April 23.

Follow Kae on Twitter: @kmaepetrin

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