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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and other elected leaders raise concerns about the extent of radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill.

Elected officials were briefed by the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7. Results of radiation detection raised some concerns.

Radioactive material was illegally dumped at West Lake in 1973.  A barrier wall is planned to stop the approach of an underground smoldering event at nearby Bridgeton landfill.   But before that can happen, radiation probes have to determine just where the radioactive material is located.   Following the first round of testing, the Missouri attorney general and others have noted the presence of the radioactive material in areas that had not been mapped in the past.  I talked with the assistant chief for the Pattonville Fire Protection District about getting the Army Corps of Engineers involved.

“Is it possible the radioactive material that`s there once its encountered with a smoldering fire is it, released in the atmosphere.  Our best guess is yes.  But we need the radiological experts to take a look and tell us what can truly happen when this reaches that point where that material is stored,” said Asst. Chief Matt LaVanchy.

Landfill owner Republic Services is paying for the testing.  And the EPA Region 7 director says the testing will be expanded promptly.  But concern is growing that the pace of this process is just not fast enough.

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