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EPA in Missouri

West Lake Landfill Superfund Site, Bridgeton, Missouri - Fact Sheet, June 2017

Site Update

NO OFF-SITE HEALTH RISKS   

Based on current data, there are no off-site health risks for those living and working around the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo. This data includes sampling two homes in the Spanish Village neighborhood, the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex investigation, EPA’s year-long air monitoring effort, and the current air monitoring efforts conducted by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs).

In December 2016, EPA sampled two homes in the Spanish Village subdivision of Bridgeton, Mo. EPA collected soil, wipe, and dust samples from the homes, and sent the samples to an independent certified laboratory for analysis of radionuclides.

The results of the investigation found no Manhattan Project waste in the homes sampled and no further EPA action necessary there. EPA coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS).

The USACE St. Louis District concurs that all protocol standards were followed and the findings of the screenings are valid.

In late 2015, ATSDR published a Health Consultation that concluded there was no off-site health risk. That report is available online.

Air monitoring data collected by EPA at five off-site locations from 2014-2015 demonstrate that air quality around the West Lake Landfill is consistent with the air quality of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, with no health risks posed by airborne radionuclides. EPA placed one of these air monitors in the Spanish Village subdivision.

The PRPs currently operate 13 air monitors along the perimeter of the landfill. EPA reviews the data from this monitoring effort, and has determined that it shows no off-site health risk posed by radionuclides in the air.

Overall, the air monitoring results indicate that levels of radionuclide particulates and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air at the perimeter of Operable Unit 1, Areas 1 and 2, are consistent with urban background levels.

For particulate samples, the isotopic and gamma spectroscopy 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 VOCs are consistent with EPA data that was collected from 2014-2015 at five offsite locations, including one monitor placed in Spanish Village.

In 2014, EPA conducted an investigation at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex, which also included sampling at Koch and Blanchette Parks. Laboratory analysis of more than 100 soil samples reported no detections of thorium, radium, uranium, and Lead-210 above levels of health concern, and largely consistent with natural background.

The collective body of off-site air and soil sampling data has consistently demonstrated no current off-site health risk for the community surrounding the landfill. EPA has repeatedly sampled in areas off-site to address public concern, and each time the results have been consistent with previous investigations demonstrating no off-site health risk.

“ONE GOVERNMENT” APPROACH TO WEST LAKE LANDFILL SUPERFUND SITE

EPA is focused on developing a final proposed remedy, and has enlisted the support of other federal and state partners. EPA has interagency agreements with its federal partner agencies, including the USACE and the U.S. Geological Survey. In addition, the CDC’s ATSDR works with EPA on a day-to-day basis and provides health-related support and advice to the agency regarding the site. EPA also works closely with MDNR and MDHSS.

This combined federal and state team of environmental, engineering, and health agencies is committed to developing a long-term solution that will ensure the public is protected in the future. Their shared goals include using sound science to drive decisions, and providing trusted data, reports, and analysis to the public.

EPA is nearing completion of its remedy review process, and is in a critical stage of reviewing complex technical documents needed to support the final remedy decision. Using the One Government approach allows us to engage the best expertise and to ensure a scientifically sound and thorough review.

NORTH QUARRY WORK PROGRESS

In 2016, the PRPs agreed to undertake significant work, under EPA oversight, to further address concerns about the subsurface smoldering event in the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill. The order required the PRPs to install components of an isolation barrier system.

The installation of the Heat Extraction System (HES) in the neck area of Bridgeton Landfill, additional temperature monitoring probes (TMPs) in the North Quarry, additional sulfur dioxide (SO2) monitors around the Bridgeton Landfill, and the expansion of the ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) cover over the North Quarry are important components of the system. The HES, TMPs, and SO2 monitors are installed and operational. Contractors under EPA oversight are currently installing the expansion of the EVOH cover, which EPA expects to be completed this summer.

The subsurface smoldering event (SSE) in the south quarry of the Bridgeton Landfill remains at least 700 feet away from TMPs located in the neck area of the landfill. Data indicates that the SSE is not rapidly moving towards the radiologically-impacted material (RIM) in the West Lake Landfill. This isolation barrier system is designed to prevent the SSE from potentially impacting the RIM located in Operable Unit 1 of the West Lake Landfill.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information regarding the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site is available online.

Additional information regarding MDNR’s work at the Bridgeton Landfill is also available online.

These websites contain informational publications, technical documents and sampling results, and correspondence and other various documents related to work at the site.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions, please contact:

Ben Washburn
Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA Region 7
Phone: 913-551-7364
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425
Email: washburn.ben@epa.gov