Analysis has shown that radioactivity found in stormwater runoff from West Lake Landfill could not be linked to decades-old radioactive waste at the site, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says.
“The results do not indicate that the radionuclides in the sample are radiologically impacted material from West Lake Landfill,” a MDNR report released last week concluded. “This is based on the relatively low activity level of West Lake Landfill-related radionuclides in the sample.”
Test results the agency released in June showed that stormwater runoff sampled from just outside the fence line of the landfill complex contained radioactivity that exceeded the levels allowed for drinking water — a standard used as a comparative baseline because of its strictness.[…]
The origins of the radioactivity remain unclear. Doster said that while some radioactivity would be expected from natural sources, the department is unable to quantify that amount.
“Science isn’t always fast, but it’s irrefutable,” said Russ Knocke, vice president of communications and public affairs for Republic Services, the landfill operator and one party responsible for the site’s Superfund cleanup. “In this case, science tells us there’s nothing related to West Lake Landfill.”
The regional EPA office agreed with the state agency’s interpretation of the data. The EPA has said since June that the levels of radioactivity found in runoff from the site do not put the public at risk.
But some concerned with the landfill are pushing for stormwater testing to be done regularly. April’s sampling was only conducted in response to worries about stormwater overflow.
If drinking water standards were violated, why wouldn’t it be a cause for concern?