DNR Finds Radioactive Traces Near West Lake Landfill

Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)

BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources finds more off-site radiation contamination near the West Lake landfill, following similar discoveries last year by the Missouri Attorney General.

Related story: West Lake Citizens Headed to Washington Over Nuclear Waste

The DNR tests were done in November with results out now: Gamma radiation was found in the lower range in most samples, but some areas in the vicinity of the landfill showed “comparatively higher levels.”

Dawn Chapman of the West Lake Mom's group and her daughter Sophie. Photo: KMOX/Kevin Killeen

Dawn Chapman of the West Lake Moms’ group and her daughter Sophie. Photo: KMOX/Kevin Killeen

“You have a site that the more we learn about it, the worse and the bigger the problem appears to be,” says Dawn Chapman of the neighborhood group Just Moms.

The DNR report says more lab tests are pending, but concluded there is no health or safety concern for the staff who gathered the samples.

The DNR report did not make any conclusions about the possible health risk to people in the neighborhood with long-term exposure.

Richard Callow, a spokesman for landfill owner Republic Services, released the following statement:

“We agree with the MDNR, DHSS, and EPA that the screening levels do not identify any areas of health and safety concern. The levels should reassure those who rely on science and data to calibrate their concern. They are unlikely to be much solace (to) those who do not.”

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

In September, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released a report claiming radiation was found inside a tree near the landfill, suggesting contaminated groundwater had migrated off the site.

The West Lake landfill contains nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project. The site has been the subject of growing concern in recent years because of an underground fire at an adjacent garbage landfill, the Bridgeton landfill, and fears the fire could reach the nuclear waste.

To view the full report, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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