ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It was supposed to start this summer, but now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will be six months or more before it begins digging a firebreak trench to separate the burning Bridgeton landfill from nearby nuclear waste.

The EPA delay is worrisome to Matt LaVanchy, assistant fire chief of the Pattonville Fire Protection District, because he’s not exactly sure where the fire ends and the radioactive material begins.

“Our big concern and our biggest fear is that it does go to the point where it’s impacting and is coming in contact with the radiological material, and in that case, it’s not going to be a good day in North St. Louis County,” LaVanchy says.

The EPA has been collecting radioactive soil samples this summer to determine where to dig the firebreak trench.

LaVanchy says it appears they’re having trouble finding a clean path.

Click here to view the EPA’s response to a letter from Missouri’s congressional delegation seeking a timetable for construction of a firebreak barrier.

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