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EPA Region 7 Receives Report of Groundwater Analysis by U.S. Geological Survey for West Lake Landfill Superfund Site

Release Date: 12/17/2014
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, 913-551-7364, washburn.ben@epa.gov; Chris Whitley, 913-551-6394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 17, 2014) - EPA Region 7 has received an independent report issued today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about groundwater conditions at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo., and will carefully review the report’s findings as the Agency moves toward selection of a final remedy for the site.

The USGS study, which was requested by EPA in April 2013, summarizes an analysis and characterization of groundwater conditions at and around West Lake. It examines data collected by EPA and its contractors, the site’s Potentially Responsible Parties and their contractors, and USGS, during 2012, 2013 and 2014, along with previous historical sampling data. A copy of the report is available online.

“EPA turned to the nation’s premier scientific experts on groundwater and hydrogeology to perform this analysis,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The report provides EPA with helpful information and interpretation.”

While past sampling has found radium in groundwater beneath the site at concentrations above its drinking water Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), the USGS report reiterates that data collected so far does not indicate whether the radium comes from naturally-occurring sources in surrounding bedrock, or from wastes or other materials disposed at the site over the decades when it was used as a landfill.

“EPA Region 7 will continue to work with our headquarters Office of Research and Development, the USGS, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, to better understand the flow and characterization of groundwater beneath and around this site,” Brooks said.

Brooks stressed that although past sampling has detected radium in groundwater beneath the site, the public is not being exposed to the contamination because its drinking water comes from local surface waters that are treated and tested. Most residents in north St. Louis County receive their drinking water from Missouri American Water/American Water Works Company, which is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to sample for radionuclides and other contaminants on a regular basis.

Area residents can obtain water quality reports which are required under provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act from Missouri American Water online .

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