EPA Announces Plan for Suburban St. Louis Landfill Cleanup

Feb 2, 2018

Credit Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $236 million plan to clean up a suburban St. Louis landfill where Cold War-era nuclear waste was illegally dumped decades ago.

The EPA said Thursday the plan calls for removing all of the radioactive contamination that poses a health risk by partially excavating the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton. Crews will also install a permanent "engineered cover system" at the site.

The site was added to the Superfund list in 1990. The area is especially concerning to nearby residents because it sits next to another landfill where an underground fire smolders. State and federal officials have downplayed the risk that the smoldering could reach the radioactive material.

Republic Services owns the landfill. The company is among three entities responsible for the cleanup cost.