ST. LOUIS (AP) — Underground smoldering at a suburban St. Louis landfill is being watched closely amid concerns about its proximity to buried nuclear waste, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Tuesday.
Koster was in St. Louis to announce an agreement with Republic Services, operators of the Bridgeton Landfill. For several months, a strong odor has been emitting from the landfill that sits on 52 acres near Lambert Airport, a noxious smell that has raised health concerns in addition to its unpleasantness
Koster said two worst-case scenarios are being guarded against closely: The fire that burns underground emerging above ground; and the subsurface fire making its way to the nuclear waste, originally stored decades ago at West Lake after work performed by Mallinckrodt Chemical Co.'s uranium procession operations.
Originally posted by blkcwbyhat
there's a fine line between trash and "nuclear waste".Things like clothing,medical garbage,anything that reads higher than normal background levels are "contaminated",so they just bury it.Not like used fuel rods or such.
The 200-acre Westlake Landfill site is adjacent to agricultural land and is in the flood plain of the Missouri River. From 1939 to 1985, limestone was quarried on the site. Beginning in 1962, portions of the property were used for landfilling of solid and liquid industrial wastes, municipal refuse, and construction debris. In 1973, Cotter Corp. disposed of over 47,000 tons of uranium ore processing residues mixed with soil in two areas covering a total of 16 acres of the site. A radiological survey conducted for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 1981 and 1982 documented radioactive wastes on site. Property adjacent to the landfill was investigated in 1990, which identified radiological contamination that migrated from the landfill.
Critics of the selected remedy for OU-1, including the Missouri Coalition for the Environment,
want the radiologically-impacted material to be excavated and shipped to an off-site location. In
two letters to EPA Headquarters dated April 2009 and December 2009, the Great Rivers
Environmental Law Center (on behalf of the Coalition) again raised its concerns and requested
the remedy be reevaluated. After extensive consultation between the Region and Headquarters,
EPA made a decision to conduct a supplemental feasibility study (SFS) for OU-1 that further
evaluates the ROD-selected remedy, as well as full-scale excavation of the
radiologically-impacted material and disposal either off-site or in a new, on-site engineered
disposal cell outside of the Missouri River floodplain. The Remedial Design/Remedial Action
(RD/RA) negotiations (which sequentially follow the signing of the ROD) for both OU-1 and
OU-2 were put on hold in June 2009, pending the outcome of the SFS.
In January 2010, EPA agreed to allow the Potentially-Responsible Parties (PRPs) to perform the
SFS, pursuant to the existing Administrative Order on Consent, under which the PRPs had
performed the RI/FS and RD. EPA-Headquarters (Jim Woolford) sent a letter to the Great
Rivers Environmental Law Center on March 3, 2010 stating that EPA would conduct a SFS.
The SFS work plan was approved under a cover letter dated May 21, 2010, and was released to
the public in June 2010. The SFS report was approved with comments under a cover letter dated
November 14, 2011 and was released to the public in December 2011. The SFS report contains
a detailed analysis of each alternative, but does not make a recommendation on which alternative
should be implemented.
After completion of the SFS, EPA determined that the remedies must be evaluated by EPA's
National Remedy Review Board. As of early 2012, the NRRB review is ongoing
Republic Services Inc. will place a plastic cap on its Bridgeton landfill by early September to control foul odors and extinguish an underground fire, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday.
Koster called the possibility of fire reaching West Lake remote and a worst-case scenario. Emergency plans include building a barrier between the two landfills with help from the Environmental Protection Agency if the fire moves closer.
Joseph Bindbeutel, an assistant attorney general, said the fire was considered contained at 1,200 feet from West Lake about three weeks ago but that the situation is changing rapidly. He did not elaborate.
Originally posted by qmantoo
We are going to have our very own Fukushima and it wont be because of a core meltdown either.
BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) - The smell from the Bridgeton landfill will intensify as work begins to reduce the smell in the area.
Workers on Monday will start to extricate six underground concrete columns before work on the plastic cap can begin. They will have to move soil, which means the smell will intensify.
Republic Services and Attorney General Chris Koster agreed to a relocation project which will allow some people in the area to move into hotels for the next three weeks.
All the construction is supposed to be finished by Labor Day.
BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) - Drilling at the Bridgeton Landfill will not begin as scheduled today because of the rain.
A Republic Services spokesman tells KMOX News the drilling will probably begin tomorrow unless storms hit the area tonight. The drilling will cause the landfill stench to get worse but Republic says the drilling will put out the fire so the smell will eventually go away.
Residents living within a mile of the landfill are entitled to a free hotel room paid for by Republic Services during the drilling. Bridgeton police say there will be increased patrols around any vacant homes.
BRIDGETON, Missouri — Residents who live near a suburban St. Louis landfill are moving into temporary homes as work begins that will make an already smelly situation worse.
The operators of the Bridgeton landfill were scheduled to begin work Monday that will temporarily increase the noxious smell coming from the landfill. The company has offered to relocate about 270 households within a mile of the landfill while the work proceeds.
However, the project was delayed at least day because of rain and the potential for severe weather. Republic says it will remove six concrete columns from the landfill to prepare for putting a plastic cap over the landfill.
The 52-acre landfill near Lambert Airport has long been the subject of complaints about its smell and possible health concerns.
Residents are now want the state to take over the landfill. Residents believe the heat levels have allowed the fire to jump the interceptor wells meant to prevent the fire from reaching the radioactive waste.
A spokesperson for Bridgeton Landfill, LLC told NewsChannel 5 the situation is under control and that the fire in nowhere near reaching the waste in the North Quarry. The company released a statement that said in part, "Assuming the rate of movement towards the North quarry doesn't continue to slow or stop, at currently measured rates of movement it would take more than 10 years to reach the edge of the North quarry."
But, residents aren't buying it.
At the beginning of the year we were told the landfill fire was 1200 feet away from the radioactive waste. The Attorney General said last week its 1,000 feet away. That's 200 feet in 5 months," said Ed Smith, a member of the non-profit Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
It’s Day Three of the dig that’s part of the court-approved action plan sought by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in cooperation with Republic Service Inc., owners of the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.
Depending on where you’re standing, the air smells like burnt plastic, mixed with pungent, decomposing garbage.
From across the street as viewed through binoculars, men in hard hats could be seen standing nonchalantly on the hillside of the landfill, watching an earth mover lift out smoldering scoops of dirt mixed with trash. Thick steam rose out of the hole, obscuring the legs of the workers who did not appear to be wearing breathing masks or any protective gear.
The plan calls for removing six pipes believed to be feeding oxygen to the fire, and then capping the entire fire site with plastic tarp to smother the fire and lock in the odor.
No flames were showing Thursday afternoon, just smoke.
"A group of us went to her office in Delmar and took part in a video conference with two members of her staff in Washington," she said. "The main goal of our meeting was so show the lack of communication from the EPA to this community and to forcefully urge the federal government to step in and ask that control of West Lake Landfill be handed over to FUSRAP so that remediation of this site can start as soon as possible." Chapman also said she asked the senator's office to help expedite getting EPA data from an Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) plane flyover that recently occurred on and around Coldwater Creek, as well as West Lake Landfill. ASPECT is a small aircraft EPA uses to detect and gather chemical and radiological data.
Chapman said she would like for a proper risk assessment be completed that shows what the potential threats are if the fire that is burning under the Bridgeton Landfill comes into contact with radioactive material. "We've been begging for a meeting with the EPA since the fire started getting out of control," she said. "We've got a lot of questions for them, and we're getting a little tired of asking nicely. "They are the ones that hold the answers to West Lake." Chapman says the next step is getting West Lake away from the EPA and into the Army Corps of Engineers hands, and possibly removing the waste from the area.
"We were blessed to be joined by members of Coldwater Creek (movement) and together we asked that Senator Claire McCaskill help in the process of getting our communities classified as "down winder" communities," she said. "We have all been living down wind of nuclear weapons waste from the Manhattan Project."