Senate bill to shift oversight of nuclear waste in landfill via The Washington Times

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that could transfer oversight of a St. Louis County landfill containing nuclear waste to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and away from the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The measure passed Tuesday still needs approval from the House, where two members from the St. Louis area, Republican Ann Wagner and Democrat William Lacy Clay, have introduced companion legislation.

Nuclear waste dating to the Manhattan Project was dumped at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton in 1973. An underground fire has been smoldering about 1,200 feet away in the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill for about five years, raising concerns about what might happen if the two meet.

The owner of both landfills, Republic Services, opposes the move, saying it could further delay cleanup. The EPA has promised a remediation plan by the end of the year.


The cause of the underground fire is unknown. The persistent smelly fumes from the fire prompted Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to sue Republic Services in 2013. The case is scheduled for trial next month.

West Lake was declared a Superfund site in 1990. In 2008, the EPA announced a remediation plan to cap the nuclear waste with rock, clay and soil. The plan drew enough opposition that the EPA decided to reconsider.

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