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EPA: Baseball Fields Near West Lake Landfill are Safe

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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)

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BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) - The fear of radioactive contamination has forced organizers to move a major little league tournament from a sports complex in Bridgeton.

Almost 100 teams from across the Midwest were supposed to gather this weekend at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex for the big Cinco de Mayo Slugfest.

The site is about a mile from the West Lake Landfill nuclear waste site, where nuclear waste is buried near another landfill with underground smoldering.

A group of residents and an engineer using a $16,000 radiation detector claim they got a hit from soil samples near the ball field, and they’ve turned it over to the EPA for more tests.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency says there is no evidence of radiological contamination on the fields of the baseball complex.

EPA region 7 administrator Karl Brooks writes that the data that scared the tournament off came from tests done by residents, not professionals. He writes that the neighbors collected their dirt to be tested from a drainage ditch, not the ballfields. And he can’t confirm the quality of their tests.

Brooks also says you could test common items like granite countertops, canary class and antique watch and find some level of radiation.

He concludes by noting that the Missouri Department of Natural resources did its own tests last year and found nothing at the ballfields.

The tournament is being moved to other fields in the county.

This latest development comes on the same week Missouri’s attorney general Chris Koster asked the EPA to do radiation tests on several hauling roads around the landfill.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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