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EPA in Missouri

West Lake Landfill - General Facts, June 2017

OVERVIEW

  • Nearing completion of our final proposed remedy decision - EPA is focused on reaching a final remedy decision that is compliant with the law, based on sound science, and considers the state’s position and key concerns in accordance with the National Contingency Plan.  EPA will continue to hold the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) accountable for meeting deadlines as the Agency works toward selecting the final proposed remedy.
  • No off-site exposures to area residents - Scientific data indicates that people living and working near the West Lake Landfill Site are not currently being exposed to contaminants above levels of health concern. A significant amount of environmental sampling has been performed on/around the site, including the nearby residential community of Spanish Village. Based on available data, EPA has determined that conditions at the site do not warrant temporary or permanent relocation of residents at this time. EPA bases its understanding of site conditions on current and historical site investigations and sampling done by PRPs, EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).
  • "One Government" Approach - EPA has assembled a team of multiple federal and state agencies to bring the best expertise to this project. The multi-agency team includes:
    • USACE St. Louis District
    • USACE Kansas City District
    • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
    • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    • Missouri Department of Natural Resources
    • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

FACTS

  • Under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, we have complete confidence that EPA will get a final remedy proposed and completed to protect the public for the long term. We completely agree that the public should not be exposed to the Manhattan Project waste buried at the West Lake Landfill. We have to protect public health, both in the short term and the future. EPA and their partners at USACE, CDC, and the state of Missouri are the experts and they are working together to do just that. They are on a path to get a long-term remedy proposed soon.
  • EPA is nearing completion of its remedy review process to select a final remedy for the radiological material at the site.
  • After EPA evaluates public comments, and finalizes the remedy selection, the Agency will use its enforcement authority to ensure the PRPs implement the selected long-term remedy. Throughout remedy construction, EPA will ensure the community remains protected from the Manhattan Project waste by overseeing the on-site work and requiring work practices that reduce or eliminate potential off-site exposures.
  • We want the community to know that this administration is focused on a timely, long-term remedy for this site. We share your goal that the community should not be exposed to the Manhattan Project waste, and we will deliver a remedy that protects the future of this community.
  • EPA and its partners are currently reviewing the Remedial Investigation Addendum (RIA), Final Feasibility Study (FFS), and other technical documents that will form the basis for the remedy proposal.
  • EPA has enlisted support from both the St. Louis and Kansas City districts of USACE (including FUSRAP experts) in reviewing these documents. We are also working with experts in EPA Headquarters’ Office of Research and Development, USGS, and ATSDR. In addition, EPA coordinates closely with state agencies including MDNR and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
  • Following approval of the RIA and FFS documents, EPA will propose a final remedy, which will include a public comment period.
  • Based on currently available data, EPA and ATSDR have concluded that there are no off-site health risks for those living and working around the landfill.
  • EPA’s recently completed investigation in Spanish Village concluded that no Manhattan Project waste was present and no further EPA action is necessary at the homes sampled.
  • EPA’s 2014 investigation at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex concluded no health risk for facility users and that BMAC remains suitable for use.
  • EPA conducted year-long off-site air monitoring from 2014-2015 at five locations. Air monitoring data from those five locations demonstrated that levels of radiological contaminants measured by EPA are consistent with other Midwest cities. For alpha and beta radiation, all monitored median values were consistent with median values for the air monitor placed in St. Charles, Mo.
  • The PRPs operate 13 perimeter air monitors at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site. EPA’s review of the data from this effort shows that the results of this air monitoring are consistent with EPA’s previous air monitoring. For radionuclide samples, the results for uranium-238, thorium-230, and combined radium are below Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits for public exposure. The results for gross alpha, beta, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are generally consistent with EPA’s own previous, year-long monitoring effort at five off-site locations, including one placed in Spanish Village.
  • EPA’s pyrolysis study concluded that heating radiologically-impacted material (RIM) from the West Lake Landfill did not increase radon production.
  • The risk of exposures that could potentially result from surface fires in Area 1 and Area 2 of the West Lake Landfill has been addressed through the placement of a non-combustible cover (crushed rock) over areas where RIM was detected near the surface, with the exception of two discrete areas on the site where steep slopes are not suitable for a crushed rock cover. An alternate cover will be placed on these areas.
  • To address potential risks associated with a subsurface smoldering event (SSE) coming into contact with RIM, EPA required the PRPs to install an isolation barrier system, including a heat extraction system in the neck area between the North and South Quarries; installation of additional temperature monitoring probes in the North Quarry; construction and operation for a period of one year of two sulfur dioxide air monitors around the Bridgeton Landfill; and construction of a synthetic cover over the North Quarry. The heat extraction system in the neck is installed and operating. The additional temperature monitoring probes are installed and operating, as are the sulfur dioxide air monitors. Construction of the synthetic cover over the North Quarry is underway and will be completed in summer 2017 (weather permitting).