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EPA Investigation Shows No Manhattan Project Waste in Homes Sampled in Spanish Village, Bridgeton, Mo.

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Curtis Carey (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., May 18, 2017) - The results of EPA's residential sampling in the Spanish Village neighborhood of Bridgeton, Mo., conducted the week of Dec. 26, 2016, show no Manhattan Project waste was found and no further action under CERCLA is warranted where the sampling was conducted.

EPA decided to conduct the sampling late last year, after hearing community health concerns about a private lawsuit.

“EPA acted quickly in conjunction with the state of Missouri, the Corps of Engineers, and the CDC, once we learned of the allegation of potential contamination inside a residence in Spanish Village,” said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu. “We collected and analyzed over 140 samples, and our evaluation of the data shows no Manhattan Project waste was found in the homes sampled in Spanish Village.”

As a part of the investigation, EPA screened areas within and around two homes for alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. EPA used the results of the screening activities to determine where to collect exterior soil samples and interior surface wipe and dust samples. The Agency sent the samples to a certified laboratory to determine the concentrations of various radionuclides, including radionuclides associated with Manhattan Project waste. 

The results of the soil sampling were all within normal background ranges for each of the analyzed radionuclides. The interior wipe sample results were all below EPA’s residential screening levels. The dust sampling results showed no relation to materials found at West Lake. This body of scientific data supports the conclusion that no Manhattan Project wastes were found and no further action is needed where the sampling was conducted.

EPA coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC's) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in developing this sampling plan and reviewing the analytical results.

The USACE St. Louis District provides subject matter experts and technical support to EPA for the West Lake Landfill site. For the pre-CERCLA screenings that were completed, the St. Louis District coordinated the sampling protocol and assisted EPA in reviewing the analysis of the screenings. The USACE St. Louis District concurs that all protocol standards were followed and the findings of the screenings are valid.

The final report of the Bridgeton dust pre-CERCLA screening is available online.

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