Mo. AG wants EPA to test for radiological contamination at landfill

By Bryan Cohen | May 1, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster initiated two actions on Tuesday related to the Bridgeton-based Westlake Landfill site.

Koster sent a letter to Karl Brooks, the regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, calling on the agency to test for radiological contamination in the community surrounding the landfill.

"Ground sampling has revealed that radiological material appears to be present in portions of the Bridgeton landfill that, just months ago, were thought to be uncontaminated," Koster said. "Having a complete, accurate understanding of the radiological profile of the area is essential to efforts by state and federal regulators and the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to safely and effectively address the challenges at the site."

Koster asked Brooks to focus on routes used during the 1970s to haul radiological material from a Latty Avenue storage facility to Westlake. He estimated that 43,000 tons of contaminated material was transported from the facility to the landfill.

"If the haul routes are determined to be a source of contamination, EPA should incorporate those routes into the Westlake Landfill Superfund site, which PRPs are responsible for cleaning up," Koster said.

Koster also filed a motion asking the court to set its pending lawsuit against Republic Services, the operator of the Westlake Landfill, for trial. The motion for trial setting will be heard on May 21 in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.

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