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EPA Region 7 Comments on Republic Services' Intentions to Build Isolation Barrier at West Lake Landfill Superfund Site

Release Date: 09/20/2013
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Sept. 20, 2013) - EPA Region 7 is welcoming a commitment by Republic Services, Inc., to construct an isolation barrier at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo., Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said today.

Although EPA has not yet seen the formal, detailed plans that will outline the construction of such a barrier, the Agency learned today that Republic Services has committed to the project. The barrier will separate Bridgeton Landfill, which Republic Services manages, from the radiation-contaminated material at the West Lake Landfill Site, which EPA oversees.

“This Agency is pleased that Republic Services intends to apply those provisions of its agreement with the State of Missouri to take this positive and protective step,” EPA Regional Administrator Brooks said.

On May 14, 2013, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that his office had negotiated a legal order with Republic Services, requiring the company to take a series of steps to contain and control odorous gases at the Bridgeton Landfill, address the underground smoldering, and provide temporary relocation assistance to local residents affected by the odors. The state’s order also requires Republic Services to compensate the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for its costs related to environmental sampling and monitoring. The action was brought under the state’s legal authority to regulate Republic Services’ operation of the Bridgeton Landfill.

“EPA Region 7, in cooperation with the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has long expressed concerns to Republic Services that the smoldering at Bridgeton Landfill not be allowed to impact the material at West Lake.” Brooks said. “Science and engineering experts at EPA’s Office of Research and Development have helped Region 7 analyze this challenge, and will work with the Region to review formal plans for an isolation barrier that Republic will submit.”

EPA Region 7 will continue to oversee a separate and ongoing supplemental environmental investigation, focusing on groundwater sampling, radiation sampling, and more detailed site characterization at West Lake Landfill. That investigation ultimately will inform the Agency’s work as it develops an amended Record of Decision, which will outline a final remedy for the site.

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