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More Radioactive Material Found Near Burning Bridgeton Landfill

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(photo credit: KMOX/ Kevin Killeen)

(photo credit: KMOX/ Kevin Killeen)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) - The Environmental Protection Agency has found more radioactive debris in West Lake Landfill.

The radioactive dirt was found about 30 feet below the surface, in an area where landfill owner Republic Services hopes to dig a firebreak trench to separate the West Lake Landfill from the burning Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.

EPA Administrator Karl Brooks says it’s a mess.

“It’s like spaghetti. It’s a whole mix of materials underneath the surface. It’s not as simple as lasagna where you have layers. It’s much more like spaghetti with sauce,” he explained.

EPA officials are not revealing the level of radiation found in the waste but say the radioactive material has likely blended with several types of underground debris.

Brooks says more tests with heavier digging equipment will get underway in a week or so to determine the scope of the problem.

“The equipment will be able to reach further down under the ground. It will be able to go through some of the construction debris that was encountered there and provide additional information,” he said.

In the meantime, Brooks maintains that the community is safe.

“People who live and work in that neighborhood are not at risk from this buried material under the ground or from the work that’s being done there during the survey.”

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