Bridgeton residents call for action on radioactive contamination concerns

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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) – Activists worried about the radioactive waste in both Coldwater Creek and the Westlake Landfill in Bridgeton are calling for action. New reports released by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster show radiological contamination in trees outside the landfill boundaries. Koster is suing the landfill owner.

The owners of the burning landfill, Republic Services, dispute the sense of urgency expressed by the attorney general.

Long time activists, who have been trying to get the federal government to clean up the waste in the west lake landfill, say it is time to buy up nearby homes. The federal government is cleaning up St. Cin Park in Hazelwood. Coldwater Creek deposited radioactive material during flooding.  The material came from atomic bomb research conducted in St. Louis during World War II.

Activist Karen Nickel grew up near St. Cin Park and has her own health issues. She said Friday, "We are fighting for our lives here; our kids are dying."

Nickel thinks it is the federal government's responsibility to clean up the landfill and buyout houses. She noted "all the other sites are being cleaned up and West Lake landfill is not.”

She and another mother, Dawn Chapman, formed the group West Lake Moms.

Chapman said "we know enough now to say it's bad. It's time to focus on the people that live there and get them out."

Republic Services insists it is managing the landfill properly and no one's health or safety is at risk.

Missouri state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal called on St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger Friday to invoke a state of emergency.

"If he does not call for one, our governor should. This is something that is really critical to the health and well-being of people throughout the region, "she said.