North County Officials Urge Action Now Against West Lake Landfill
Local and state organizations come together to get community members to rally around taking care of one of the Bridgeton landfills.
State and North County legislators turned out Friday for a call to action on Bridgeton's West Lake Landfill.
Ed Smith, safe energy director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, said a public meeting was needed when Republic Services, which owns the landfill, said everything was OK.
“We’re all local, Republic is not,” Smith said following the session. “People are being fed misinformation (by Republic).”
Bob Criss, director of the stable isotope laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, and Peter Anderson, executive director for the Center for a Competitive Waste Industry, each presented arguments to get the community proactive in taking care of the landfill.
Criss released a 10-page independent, scientific assessment of the landfill on Friday and said more like it are needed. Anderson, on the other hand, advocated for the state to become more proactive against Republic and start its own independent analysis of the site.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment also laid out three demands regarding the landfill, including:
- At the expense of Republic Services, the coalition demands the hire of a fully independent, qualified air, water and fire experts to conduct an analysis of the landfill and ensure public safety
- Continue to make the findings and data of the landfill public and transparent and keep the community engaged in discussions
- In order to protect taxpayers, Republic should pay for all current and future costs dealing with the testing, analysis and remediation of the landfill
For the past couple of years, community concerns have continued to grow surrounding the landfill over its contamination of radioactive waste and uranium ore processing residues.
Last year, the Florissant City Council examined a resolution for the issue where it would have supported moving the landfill from the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency into the Army Corps of Engineers.
Just across the way, residents have complained of smells coming from the Bridgeton Landfill recently, too.
Recently, state legislators have stepped in to file resolutions regarding the landfill. Rep. Keith English (D-68) sponsored House Resolution 18, which asks for the transfer of the landfill from the EPA to the Army Corps of Engineers. Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal has filed similar legislation in the Senate.
Ward 2 Councilman John Grib, who was among the attendees to the meeting, said he agrees that something needs to be done but in a sensible manner.
“I think there’s a lot of ‘I don’t knows,’” he said. “It’s a problem that needs to be addressed. We need to study this and find out what’s there and go from there.”
For other coverage of the West Lake Landfill, check out: