Koster asks EPA to reconsider Westlake Landfill decision

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 16, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday asking the federal agency to reconsider its decision regarding Westlake Landfill.

The agency decided that the preliminary testing in preparation for construction of an isolation barrier at the landfill was non-essential during the shutdown of the federal government.

In the letter to Gina McCarthy, an EPA administrator, Koster requested that the agency deem the work essential and take immediate steps to complete preliminary testing before the impending colder weather of winter.

Such a course of action would allow Republic Services of Bridgeton to proceed with construction activity during more favorable weather conditions.

"Timing is crucial," Koster said in a statement. "Currently, weather conditions are ideal for work in the field, but in a few short weeks, cold winter weather may force outdoor work to be suspended until the spring.

"As a result, every day lost impedes not only the testing at the Westlake Landfill, but also the construction of the isolation barrier itself."

The isolation barrier is meant to protect against the possibility of the smoldering event at the landfill reaching the radioactive material at Westlake.

Koster said the sooner work can start on the safeguard, the better protected the public will be.

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