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Army Corps of Engineers

More than a hundred showed up to the St. Louis Army Corps of Engineers' annual meeting in February 2018 to update the public on efforts to remediate legacy nuclear waste along Coldwater Creek.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

When the Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday delivered an update on its ongoing work to clean up radioactive waste along Coldwater Creek, it was to a packed room. More than 100 people attended the meeting; some attendees only recently learned about the radioactive waste after watching the HBO documentary, "Atomic Homefront," which began airing last week.

The film documents the struggle of north St. Louis County residents who live near areas illegally dumped with World War II-era nuclear waste, particularly the West Lake Landfill Superfund site. While many attendees in the room had known about the waste for several years, some were stunned to learn about it from the documentary.

The Fenton Water Treatment Plant was knocked offline due to historic flooding.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Meramec River is expected to crest at 40 feet on Wednesday, posing a threat to low-lying communities, including Valley Park, Eureka, Fenton and Kirkwood. 

As water levels rise along the same communities that were badly impacted by flooding in early 2016, some local environmentalists say that levees are responsible for the severe floods residents in the St. Louis area have experienced in recent years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 11, 2012 - WASHINGTON - As a record deluge surged toward the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers last spring, officials had to decide whether to save the town of Cairo, Ill., by flooding 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland and its small communities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 20, 2011 - WASHINGTON - An expert panel that scrutinized the management of the Missouri River during this year's severe flooding suggests a "re-evaluation" of the master manual's guidance on how the Army Corps of Engineers should deal with such extreme events.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 8, 2011 - WASHINGTON - After being pummeled by lawmakers at U.S. House and Senate hearings, the Army Corps of Engineers now faces an inquiry by a federal watchdog agency into how it managed the Missouri River during this year's record floods.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2011 - WASHINGTON - River levels may be falling now, but fears are rising in some states along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers that another extremely wet season and slow progress in levee repairs could lead to more flooding next spring. At a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday, a parade of senators -- including Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. -- took the Army Corps of Engineers to task for its river management and urged the agency to make flood control a higher priority in its master plan for the Missouri River.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2011 -WASHINGTON - When the U.S. Senate approved a $6.9 billion bill to meet disaster relief needs two weeks ago, both of Missouri's senators backed it, citing the state's tremendous needs in recovering from this year's tornadoes, floods and storms.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug 18, 2011 - "Rebuild our levee," demanded a protester's sign at the New Madrid river dock, "so we can rebuild our lives."

Members of the Mississippi River Commission heard a similar message from about two dozen local residents this week during a public hearing aboard a riverboat that had helped carry explosives to blast holes in the Birds Point levees in May. They stopped in New Madrid as part of their annual inspection trip along the river.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 8, 2011 - WASHINGTON - As the Army Corps starts its "gradual drawdown" of water from the swollen Missouri River reservoirs, U.S. senators from the river states -- including Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. -- are asking the agency to detail its plan to avoid a 2012 rerun of this year's flooding.

U.S. House members form Missouri River group

Jul 20, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 20, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Following in the footsteps of U.S. senators from the region, 16 House members from seven states -- including Missouri's entire congressional delegation -- have formed a working group to discuss flood control and management of the Missouri River.

The House Missouri River Flood Working Group, organized by freshman U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and announced Wednesday by several lawmakers, plans to examine this year's flooding and scrutinize Army Corps of Engineers policies in managing the Big Muddy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 11, 2011 - When torrents of rain poured into the lower Mississippi River this spring, most of that record flow was contained by federal levees or diverted into floodways and spillways as part of a system focused on limiting flooding.

In contrast, the relentless rain and snowmelt that surged into the upper Missouri River entered a far different system -- a series of reservoirs whose dams usually can be controlled like giant spigots -- that was designed not only to limit flooding but also to influence navigation, power generation, irrigation, recreation and wildlife.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 7, 2011 - The white steeple of the Dorena Baptist Church still stands tall against the blue Missouri sky, despite the flood-shattered condition of this beloved house of worship located in the southeastern section of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

There will be no Sunday services here ever again, said the Rev. LeRoy Davenport, who served as pastor of the little Southern Baptist church on Highway 77 in Dorena.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 15, 2011 - WASHINGTON - The House Appropriations Committee added nearly $590 million to a spending bill Wednesday for repairing damaged levees and other flood-control structures in the vast Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) system on the lower Mississippi.

That sum was part of more than $1 billion in extra funding for levee and other flood-damage repair nationwide, with the details on spending priorities to be left to the Army Corps of Engineers after it assesses damages related to this spring flooding on the Mississippi, the ongoing flooding along the Missouri River and other floods.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 14, 2011 - Whipped by 50 mph winds, the night rain pelted Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh as he gripped the railing of an Army Corps of Engineers motor boat and looked across the choppy surface of the rampaging Mississippi River.

Walsh spent that night of May 2 in a vessel "lashed to an anchor barge in the current near the top of the [Birds Point] floodway," to witness the great flood. He wrote later, "The rains continued to pound the deck ... the cold winds moved us around, and the current and water levels kept increasing as the rain storms continue to grow."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - SIKESTON - Jack Feezor gazed at a white rooftop just visible in the distance -- across the brackish flow of river water that now runs over Highway D in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

"It's history now. We move on," he said quietly as a handful of local residents took in the sights and sounds from this dry stretch of two-lane pavement at the edge of life as they've known it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2009 - Efforts to save a sculptor's studio in Chesterfield from a flood-protection project have yielded one new proposal, but fans of the studio are pushing for something better.

At an outdoor meeting and rally at Don Wiegand's studio Wednesday night, more than 100 people heard updates on the drive to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from razing the building where he works and lives, on the eastern edge of Chesterfield Valley.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 24, 2009 - The half-life of the radioactive material in the West Lake landfill in northwest St. Louis County is thousands of years. The controversy over how to deal with it is heading in that direction.

The latest development is a resolution by the St. Louis County Council asking that jurisdiction over the site be transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency, which came up with a plan for the site last year, to the Army Corps of Engineers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 24, 2009 - Last summer, the Mississippi River flooded, overwhelming earthen levees along its banks. Spring showers and the anticipated revision of a federally drawn flood map refocus attention on the health of the protective structures that safeguard area homes and businesses within the river's reach.