BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) — The stench is now the least of their worries in Bridgeton. Environmental officials held an emergency meeting at Pattonville High School Thursday night to lay out the latest news for the smoldering underground fire that now appears to be burning closer to nearby radioactive waste than previously thought.
Ed Smith, of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, says temperatures are rising on the other side of the barrier that was supposed to keep the fire from the nuclear waste.
He notes the fire moved 200 feet in the last three months, and is now 1,000 ft. from the waste.
“What happens when the landfill fire reaches the radioactive materials? And from what were hearing from them so far is that’s not possible,” Smith told residents at the meeting. “What we are seeing now is that seems more possible right now than it did a couple of weeks ago.”
But a spokesman for the landfill owner tells KMOX, “at currently measured rates of movement it would take more than 10 years to reach the edge of the north quarry.”
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Residents, like Dawn Chapman, say landfill owner Republic Services is failing, and the EPA is being tight-lipped.
“I’m upset about it. I’m really upset because, you know what, we now have a critical situation going on.”
Meantime, a spokesman for Republic Services says: “Our assessment continues to be that our monitoring and control methods are effective and working as expected.”