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Dooley: Nothing County Can Do About Burning Bridgeton Landfill

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Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, where underground fire has been smoldering since December 2010 (Photo: KMOX)

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, where underground fire has been smoldering since December 2010 (Photo: KMOX)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) - Bridgeton residents have been calling on state and federal agencies to put a stop to the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill but St. Louis County officials said Tuesday there is nothing they can do to mitigate the situation.

County Executive Charlie Dooley says the county simply doesn’t have jurisdiction there.

“This is a state and federal issue. Now, we support that something needs to be done but again, it’s in St. Louis County, but it’s an EPA issue and it’s a state issue,” he says.

Dooley says the St. Louis County Health Department has attended all meetings about the landfill and has written letters on behalf of citizens, but that’s all he can do.

“We’re reviewing it, we’re monitoring the situation, we’re well aware of what’s going on,” he added.

Dooley declined to comment on whether Republic Services, which owns the site, has done enough to address community concerns or minimize the health risk to citizens.

Environmental Protection Agency officials met with 500 concerned and vocal residents late last month at Pattonville High School to explain their efforts to extinguish the fire. EPA officials claimed there was “adequate time” before the fire reached nuclear waste at the nearby West Lake Landfill.

EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said the agency continues to test the West Lake site.

“We continue to do the science that we committed to do to find out more about how groundwater behaves. We continue to cooperate with the [Department of Natural Resources] in providing air monitoring information which shows that there is no public health risk from emissions coming from the West Lake facility,” Brooks says.

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