2013-03-27 – EPA – WEST LAKE LANDFILL BRIDGETON, MISSOURI – Questions and Answers

2013-03-27-epa-west-lake-landfill-bridgeton-missouri-questions-and-answers

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WEST LAKE LANDFILL
BRIDGETON, MISSOURI
QUESTION: Why hasn’t EPA proposed to excavate the radiological waste at West Lake
Landfill, to be consistent with the ongoing excavation of similar radiological waste at the nearby
St. Louis Airport sites (SLAPS)?
ANSWER:
While the wastes are similar at both sites, the pathways for people to be exposed to the material
at West Lake and SLAPS are very different
West Lake is fenced to prevent access, and the groundwater beneath the site is not being used for
drinking water. There are no current exposures to people.
The radiological waste at SLAPS is mainly at the surface along roads where the public could be
exposed.
Existing risk assessments indicate that the West Lake waste can be safely managed by capping in
place as selected in the 2008 Record of Decision. However, due to extensive public interest, EPA
is currently re-evaluating the ROD remedy and several excavation remedies in more detail.
BACKGROUND:
• EPA completed a Supplemental Feasibility Study in 2011 that re-evaluated the Record of
Decision remedy of cap-in-place as well as full excavation of the radiological waste with offsite
or on-site disposal.
• Region 7 presented the results of the SFS to the National Remedy Review Board as an “early
consultation” in February 2012, and the NRRB comments from this consultation resulted in
additional evaluations. The additional evaluations, including an evaluation of a partial
excavation alternative, are in work now by the potentially responsible parties and will result
in an addendum to the SFS report.
• The Lambert-St. Louis Airport Authority has expressed considerable interest in the remedy
to be selected, and has stated in writing that it views excavation of landfill waste so close to
the airport to constitute a bird strike hazard to aircraft.
• Questions received on this and related issues from Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt,
Reps. William Lacy Clay
Dan Gravatt, 913-551-7324
Karl Brooks, 913-551-7006 3/27/2013
WLLFOIA4312- 001 – 0058493
QUESTION: What is EPA doing about the landfill fire or “subsurface smoldering event” at
West Lake?
ANSWER:
• The landfill fire at West Lake is occurring underground in a non-radiological waste disposal
cell at the site which is permitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
(MDNR). As the sole regulatory authority for this waste disposal cell, MDNR is responsible
for responding to the landfill fire.
• EPA and MDNR communicate regularly on the status of the fire and the PRP’s to contain
and put the fire out.
BACKGROUND:
• The landfill fire was first discovered in December 2010 and reported to MDNR and the EPA.
• The landfill fire began to receive extensive press coverage in late 2012 when odors from the
fire increased and began to generate complaints from local residents and businesses.
• The landfill fire area is more than 1,000 feet from the nearest area of radiological waste.
• Questions received on this and related issues from Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt,
Reps. William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner.
RESOURCES:
The site is PRP-lead, meaning that the PRPs (including the U.S. Department of Energy) are
paying for the additional studies and site work, and are reimbursing EPA staff for its time in
overseeing the work.
Dan Gravatt, 913-551-7324
Karl Brooks, 913-551-7006 3/27/2013
WLLFOIA4312- 001 – 0058494