BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – The EPA released new data showing the underground fire at the Bridgeton landfill is much closer than originally thought to the nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the new data places the radioactive waste “hundreds of feet” closer to the fire than previously known.
The Neighborhood Moms group spokesman Dawn Chatman now worries they won’t have enough time to build a firebreak barrier.
“As a resident living here, I’m horrified, I’m scared, but I’m really angry right now,” Chatman told KMOX, her voice cracking. “They should have known this five years ago, six years ago when this fire started.”
Landfill spokesman Richard Callow released a statement saying the community now has a better idea of where the nuclear waste is:
“EPA has determined that the radioactive impacted material (RIM) is not threatened by the underground smolder, which is neither moving into the north quarry nor into West Lake Landfill,” Callow said in the statement. “It has found no new risks to health. This all seems like a good and important step toward reaching a final decision by the end of year.”
Koster took a different approach:
“Today’s report confirms that EPA has never had a clear picture of the extent of contamination at the West Lake landfill, and it is deeply concerning that it took EPA so long to figure that out,” Koster said in a statement. “The EPA has yet to reveal its plan for preventing the fire from ever reaching the waste. It is long past time for the federal government to transfer responsibility of the site to the Army Corps for swift and certain remedial action.”
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