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Behind the Headlines: Residents hope to see full removal of hazardous waste at Westlake Landfill

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

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines to discuss the aftermath of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision on a partial removal of World War II-era radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill, in northwest St. Louis County.

Joining him for the analysis was St. Louis Public Radio’s engagement producer, Lindsay Toler, and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s (MCE) policy director, Ed Smith.

Bridgeton Landfill, LLC, the owner of the West Lake Landfill did not respond to a request to join the conversation.

Listen to the full discussion:

EPA’s proposal is to excavate and remove tens of thousands of tons of contaminated soil then place a cap on the site. Toler said residents around the landfill site have mixed feelings about the decision – some are concerned that partial removal is not enough.

“Certainly the feeling is that there’s hope that the government will do more, but this is a pretty good start,” Toler said. Smith said MCE supports full removal of the hazardous waste to protect human health from radioactive activity.

Related: HBO’s 'Atomic Homefront' explores the citizen activist movement around nuclear waste in St. Louis

Toler said the Pattonville Fire Protection District said excavation will lead to temporarily relocating residents near the landfill to prevent exposure to radioactive and harmful material.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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