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News Releases from Region 07

New Work Starts at West Lake Landfill Superfund Site Week of May 11: Efforts Will Further Characterize and Define Extent of Radiologically Impacted Material

Contact Information: 
Chris Whitley (whitley.christopher@epa.gov)

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., May 7, 2015) - EPA Region 7 has approved the work plan necessary to launch a new round of scientific sampling aimed at further characterizing and defining the extent of radiologically impacted material (RIM) at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.

The new round of sampling at West Lake, which will involve Gamma Cone Penetration Testing (GCPT) and core sampling, will begin Monday, May 11. This effort is a continuation of the investigation performed in late 2013 and early 2014 to determine whether RIM is present in the area between Area 1 of the West Lake Landfill and the Bridgeton Landfill. Instruments will be pressed into the ground and lowered into the holes to measure for radiation. Core samples brought to the surface will be screened on site, and sent to off-site labs for further analysis.

The work will be done by contractors hired by the site's potentially responsible parties, and will occur under EPA's oversight.

This RIM characterization work will take place in the area of the boundary between the West Lake Landfill Operable Unit 1 Area 1 and the North Quarry of the Bridgeton Landfill. The results from this sampling will help inform the decision on a potential isolation barrier that could be constructed in this area, as well as to define the extent of RIM in Operable Unit 1 Area 1.

In addition, the potentially responsible parties have recently agreed to perform other investigatory work that will take place in Operable Unit 1 Areas 1 and 2. EPA expects the data gathered by this additional sampling to result in more accurate estimates of the location and volumes of RIM in Operable Unit 1. Those estimates of RIM volume will be used by EPA to more thoroughly explore and evaluate alternative remedies for the West Lake Landfill, including full and partial excavation.

"Ultimately, we expect the evaluation of this additional data and other information derived from the new round of work will help inform EPA's final remedy selection process for the site," said EPA Region 7 Acting Administrator Mark Hague.

Contractors are expected to complete the field portion of the first phase of the work in approximately four weeks, depending on weather conditions. The second phase of sampling will then begin inside Areas 1 and 2. Lab analyses are anticipated to be complete by late summer or early fall, and data evaluation and preparation of reports by the contractors are expected to be complete by early January. EPA is committed to sharing the final sampling results and reports with the public.

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