Community, Environmentalists, Teamsters Tell EPA: Stop Nuclear Fires at Republic Landfill in Missouri

   Community, Environmentalists, Teamsters Tell EPA: Stop Nuclear Fires at
                        Republic Landfill in Missouri

PR Newswire

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 18, 2013

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night, more than 300
people from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Jobs with
Justice, and the Teamsters Union attended a public meeting held by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There, community leaders spoke out
against the increasingly dangerous and volatile situation at West Lake
Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo. The landfill is operated by Republic
Services [NYSE: RSG], the nation's second-largest trash company.


The site, located in the Missouri River floodplain, is home to radioactive
wastes dumped there in 1973 following secret uranium processing in downtown
St. Louis. In late October 2012, residents around the landfill began
complaining of foul odors and burning eyes—and the Pattonville Fire Department
expressed alarm at rising underground temperatures and the danger that the
developing underground landfill fire could migrate toward the buried nuclear
waste sites.

At last night's meeting, attendees demanded that the radioactive wastes be
immediately isolated from the underground fire and then properly and
completely removed from the floodplain.

"The site is becoming more radioactive over time," said Dr. Bob Criss,
professor of Geo-Chemistry at Washington University and a Missouri River
expert. "A floodplain in an urban area is one of the most absurd places to
store radioactive wastes that I can think of."

The West Lake Landfill Superfund Site is the only radioactive site in the St.
Louis area under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). The Army Corps of Engineers has removed more than 1 million cubic yards
of radioactive wastes from four sites in greater St. Louis. However, the EPA
has yet to remove a single cubic yard of radioactive wastes from the West Lake
Landfill site.

"According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, it was illegal to
dump the radioactive wastes in the Missouri River floodplain in 1973. It
should be illegal for the EPA to knowingly leave them there," said Ed Smith,
Safe Energy Director at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. "It's
technically feasible to remove the radioactive wastes and it should be done as
soon as possible."

While the EPA has refused to take action to remove the radioactive wastes for
decades, the recent fire at the landfill has caught the attention of local
officials and the greater St. Louis community.

"We have members who live near and around the landfill. We also have members
who work on the site, and we believe that the nonunion workers who work under
Republic's thumb deserve protection as well. The fire on its own is a big
problem. What if the landfill fire were to reach the radioactive waste?" said
Marv Kropp, President of Teamsters Joint Council 13.

"Landfill fires can burn on for years and expand—just look at what happened to
Republic's landfill in Centerville, Ohio—a fire that raged for years until
state officials and the EPA finally stepped up and forced real action on the
part of the company," Kropp added.

"Our community can no longer tolerate delays—we're sitting on a ticking toxic
time bomb," said Lara Granich, Director of Missouri Jobs with Justice "Now is
the time that the EPA and Republic Services must act."

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is Missouri's independent,
citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy,
and a healthy environment. Founded in 1969, the coalition works to protect and
restore the environment through education, public engagement, and legal

Missouri Jobs with Justice is a coalition of community, labor, student and
religious groups committed to fighting together for economic justice in
Missouri. Jobs with Justice's goals are to organize community support for
workers treated unjustly and/or illegally in the workplace and to address the
root causes of poverty while working for an economic base that benefits the
entire community – an economic base that benefits more than just corporations.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4
million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and
Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter
@Teamsters and on Facebook at

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Missouri Jobs with Justice;
Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Contact: Missouri Coalition for the Environment , Ed Smith, +1-314-705-4975,, Missouri Jobs with Justice, Lara Granich,
+1-314-644-0466,, Teamsters Union, Galen Munroe
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