BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) — Residents and environmentalists claim the Environmental Protection Agency is taking a cap-it-and-cross-your-fingers approach to radioactive waste at Bridgeton’s West Lake Landfill.

And even worse, while the agency squabbled Thursday night with the public over whether covering the waste is enough or not, that waste has been allowed to sit wide-open for years and years.

Janelle Wright says there are consequences:

“I have been witness to a lot of friends in caskets recently. Around our 20 year class reunion people started getting cancer at an alarming rate and dying. Horrible cancers, one in a million cancers.”

In fact, she says she’s compiled a list of 700 cases of rare cancers in the area around the landfill.

The E.P.A. responded that it would take her experience into account.

The agency told the crowd of 300 that it had tested the groundwater underneath the landfill recently and found no evidence of seepage.

Residents shouted back that, hey, we’re in a drought.

The E.P.A. is moving forward with plans for the cap, and says it probably won’t move the waste.

Radioactive waste is spread across 40 acres in two locations of the dump. It is among several sites in the St. Louis region contaminated by radioactive waste from Mallinckrodt Chemical Co.’s uranium processing operations.

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