WASHINGTON – Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley is pushing for more testing for radioactive contamination in St. Charles County, according to a letter he sent to the United States Department of Energy on Monday.
Hawley specifically asks for more testing around Weldon Spring, which was home to a uranium chemical processing plant from 1957 to 1966. He says the site was reviewed in 2021, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources offered an extensive critique of the DOE’s cleanup and monitoring efforts in Weldon Spring.
Hawley notes the DOE’s remediation plans has some “serious sampling deficiences” that prompt further action.
“The residents of my state are suffering from ongoing radioactive contamination,” said Hawley in the letter. “That contamination was caused by the government’s Manhattan Project efforts, and it has never been properly cleaned up. Instead of active remedies, the government now relies on a strategy of “monitored natural attenuation”—essentially, hoping the problem corrects itself.”
Hawley says some sampling of uranium was based on 1997 data, not one from current data and sapling at existing monitoring wells did not happen at depth level.
In addition to his letter, Hawley is working on legislation that would pay anyone dealing with severe health consequences due to to radioactive contamination in the St. Louis region.
The latest calls for action come after a new report surfaced suggesting that the federal government downplayed and failed to fully investigate the risks of nuclear waste contamination that stemmed from the Manhattan Project in St. Louis County. The issue of radioactive contamination was also brought to national attention last year when environmental investigation consultants pointed out radioactive contamination at Jana Elementary School in north county.