ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The Environmental Protection Agency says there’s “no public health risk” from the radiation at a nuclear waste site — the one next door to a raging underground garbage fire.
The EPA’s radiation detection plane flew over the West Lake Landfill March 8 and tested for gamma radiation and found no radiation outside the fence protecting the nuclear waste.
“What this means is a person would essentially have to trespass, jump the fence, and stay over there to risk being exposed to elevated levels of radiation,” said Karl Brooks, the EPA’s Region Seven Administrator.
While the EPA plane tested for gamma radiation, Brooks says no tests were done for alpha or beta radiation. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment has raised concerns that alpha and beta radiation could be riding in the steam and smoke rising from the burning Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill — if tainted ground water from nuke site has migrated into the burning landfill.
Brooks down played those concerns as “hypothetical.”
The EPA plane also ran infrared tests to try to map the fire that’s been burning at the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill since December 2010. But Brooks says the data was weak and inconclusive.