Debate Heats Up Over St. Louis County’s Westlake Landfill

Michael Calhoun

FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) — Leave it, contain it or move it someplace safer.

Those are the options for what to do with very hot nuclear waste in north county’s Westlake Landfill.

The Environmental Protection Agency is weighing options for what to do with the material. Ed Smith, with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, says option one is unacceptable. “It’s like Fukashima Daiichi disaster  in the fact that we know this stuff is in the Missouri River flood plain, but we are doing nothing about it,” Smith said. “It’s a preventable disaster. But if there’s a huge flood or an earthquake, and the landfill spills its radioactive waste out into the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people, it’s too late.”

westlakegoogleearth Debate Heats Up Over St. Louis Countys Westlake LandfillBut Smith says a 13-hundred page EPA report only dedicates one paragraph to the potential for groundwater contamination, despite the fact that there’s nothing currently separating the waste from the earth.

He cites a case near Denver, where the EPA left waste alone, before having to reverse course a year later and move it to a federal waste site.

Smith doesn’t think the EPA’s learned a lesson, and says the Florissant City Council and Congressman Carnahan are among those fighting for the Army Corps of Engineers to step in and take over.

(KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )


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