BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – Bridgeton residents today are applauding a letter sent by local members of Missouri’s congressional delegation that is hoped will speed up cleanup of the radioactive West Lake Landfill.
The letter – from senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Congressmembers Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner – asks the Department of Energy to place the site under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, or FUSRAP, a program that already includes several other local World War II-era sites.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment executive director Heather Navarro says doing so would take control of the cleanup away from the company that owns the site.
“They have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, so they have a vested interested that is not the public interest,” Navarro says. “FUSRAP operates the opposite way, so the government agencies are doing the site analysis. They’re the ones making the decisions.”
Local resident Dawn Chapman, co-founder of Just Moms STL, says that would allow a determination of exactly what’s in the landfill.
“They’re the only ones, keep in mind, that are allowed to actually walk up on the site and sink a shovel in. … To this day, there’s been no outside agency that’s been allowed to go up and say, ‘What is that sitting there?'”
Chapman says there’s no good reason West Lake is not already in the program.
“It’s discrimination at this point not to include West Lake Landfill with the other sites. We deserve the same level of protection from the agency best responsible,” she says.
The letter is asking the DOE nicely, Chapman says. “If we don’t have to ask nicely, we’ll do that to.”
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