BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – Protesters chained themselves to barrels at the entrances to the radioactive West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton this morning.
They want Congress to act — to take responsibility for cleaning up the site away from the EPA, and give it instead to the more experienced Army Corps of Engineers.
Maria Fonseca was one of those protesting.
“I do think this is our last resort, is to chain ourselves down, to make people listen, to shutdown business for however amount of time this happens to be,” she says.
Protestor Scott Goding says police soon learned they could not just remove the protesters and be done with it.
“They’re called lock boxes. They are about 500 pounds each and they are locked in, inside a tube attached to the concrete,” Goding says.
Demonstrators were there for more than six hours, wearing diapers to relieve themselves. Police had to bring in power tools to break up the concrete inside the lock boxes and get them out.
The West Lake Landfill is contaminated with nuclear waste left over from the Manhattan Project. Its neighbor, the Bridgeton Landfill, owned by Republic Services, is dealing with an underground fire.
Fonseca wants legal action against landfill owner Republic Services. She says it’s time for some sort of action to clean up the nuclear waste.
“We are concerned once that fire hits the radioactive waste what would happen, and nobody’s hearing our concerns; we’ve gone to several city council meetings,” she says.
“We feel this is the only way possible to get attention.”