DNR Finds Radiation in Stormwater Outside West Lake Landfill

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says it found radioactive isotopes in stormwater at the fence line of the West Lake Landfill following heavy rains in April.

Related story: West Lake Landfill Critic “Livid” Over Just-Released EPA Study

The tests found alpha particles higher than what’s allowed under federal health guidelines for drinking water. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment says the findings contradict EPA claims that the landfill is contained.

Ed Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment says that shows you can’t believe everything the EPA says about Bridgeton landfill crisis.

“It certainly challenges the EPA’s claim that the radioactive materials contained to the landfill,” Smith says. “Just this week or last week, the EPA posted on their West Lake Facebook page that there was no risk of off-site contamination from the landfill.”

The EPA says the radiation found in the stormwater is not necessarily tied to the landfill, without further tests.

“Right now it doesn’t pose a drinking water threat,” Smith says. “I think that the EPA’s pretty accurate. The reports that have been released by American Water do not show that there’s radioactivity in our drinking water than what’s allowable.”

Republic Services’ Ross Knocke released the following statement:

“This is not drinking water and drinking water standards are inapplicable. We don’t see anything of concern in these results, nor did MDNR express any concern when it posted them. We support the further testing to provide yet more proof that the site is safe. Capping the site will eliminate community concerns like this once and for all.

Some activists continue to be misinformed and to make up claims that regulators continue to dispel with science. Stormwater runoff is normal. The Landfill adheres to industry best practices in stormwater management. If they are so preoccupied with stormwater runoff, science shows the best way to alleviate their concerns would be to cap the site, as EPA proposed in 2008.”

The stormwater drain is on the fence line of the property. However, it is uncertain if the water goes into the sewer system or a retention pod.

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