1976-06-02 – MDNR – West Lake Landfill – Letter from Director Karch to NRC after Post-Dispatch Series


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missouri department of natural resources
P.O. »•« 1368 J.«l.f.»n City. Mifiowfi 65101 314/751-2815
June 2, 1976
Mr. James G. Keppler
Regional Director
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
799 Roosevelt Road
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Dear Mr. Keppler:
In articles published May 30 and June 1 (copies enclosed) St. Louis
Post-Dispatch reporter Margaret W. Freivogel presented evidence that
some seven tons of uranium were dumped in 1973 at the West Lake Landfill
in St. Louis County by an Atomic Energy Corjnission subcontractor
removing radioactive waste material fror. a site in Hazelwood, Missouri,
The area was closed as an industrial and sanitary landfill by this
Department in 1974 (a new sanitary landfill in an adjacent area protected
from groundwater contact now operates under DNR permit). The
closed area where the dumping allegedly occurred may be in direct
contact with groundwater. It has no monitoring wells to permit
evaluation of groundwater contamination.
In your letter to me of February 19, 1976 you stated that “a review by
the then AEC showed there was no significant health or environmental
hazard associated with the burial”. The letter to Cotter Corporation
from John G. Davis you enclosed stated, “It is our understanding from
your contractor that the material was then deposited under about
100 feet of refuse and earth at St. Louis County sanitary landfill
No. 1.” The investigation by the Post-Dispatch indicates that AEC_did
not know the correct location of the dumping, the local geology, nor
the actual concentration of uranium dumped. The depth cited must
also be incorrect since no landfills in the St. Louis area contain
100 feet of fill. I must therefore question the validity of the AEC
“review” of the burial operation.
I respectfully request that in view of the concerns of this Department
and the people of the St. Louis area, that the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission takes steps to:
1. Provide me with all documents which might assist me in verifying
the Post-Dispatch report, and in establishing the exact amount
and chemical form of radioactive materials allegedly dumped at
Vest Lake.
Exhibit A
1 of 4
Mr. Kcpplcr
Page 2
June 2, 1976
2. Require the Energy Research and Development Administration,
as successor to AEC’s source material operations, to
a) Include the West Lake Landfill in the areas it has selected
for intensive aerial and ground level radiation monitoring.
b) Locate the uranium precisely within the landfill, both as
to position and depth.
c) Install appropriate groundwater monitoring wells and implement
a monitoring program to determine the extent, if any, of
groundwater contamination.
d) Recommend actions to be taken to protect landfill workers
and the public from any potential hazards associated with
this material.
3. a) Advise •£ on who would be liable in the event that cleanup
costs are involved.
b) Ascertain whether federal laws or regulations were violated
by either the Atomic Energy Commission or its subcontractor
in the disposal of source material at an unlicensed site.
In a related matter, I was disappointed to learn that you do not maintain
records of radioactive waste burials carried out by licensees under
authority of Section 20.304 of Title 10 CFR. I hereby respectfully
request that your office obtain such records from all Missouri licensees
who have made such burials and make these records available to me.
Kenneth M.
Division of Environmental Quality
cc: Robert J. Koke, EPA Region VII
Exhibit A
2 of k