Clean Up Hazardous Nuclear Waste Site

Target: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan

Goal: Let the Army Corps of Engineers clean up a toxic landfill that the EPA has ignored. 

Missouri residents are scared for their safety as an underground fire burns near a nuclear waste landfill. This West Lake Landfill was deemed a Superfund site in 1990, which meant the EPA would be in charge of cleaning up the hazardous material. Over three decades later, nothing has happened. Citizens are tired of waiting for the EPA, especially when this underground fire has the potential to ignite the radioactive material. Locals are fighting to have the Army Corps of Engineers take over the EPA’s responsibilities and make their community safe again. Urge the leadership of the House of Representatives to allow an Army Corps program to remove the radioactive waste from this small town community.

The underground fire is a chemical reaction of carbon monoxide and methane produced from another landfill next to the West Lake one. Residents were informed of the fire only after they complained about noxious smells coming from the earth. This was two years after it started. The EPA told residents not to worry. Even though the smell was from known carcinogens, and the fire was less than 1,200 feet from hazardous material. The EPA told residents not to worry again when they found out the fire was only 900 feet away.

After the misreports and information being withheld early on, residents do not trust what the EPA says. They want the landfill cleanup to be done immediately, and by an organization they can trust. The Army Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) has been cleaning up contaminated sites since the 90’s. Their St. Louis chapter has been responsible for other nuclear landfills that have been cleaned or are in the process of being cleaned. That is more than the EPA can say. The EPA has had decades to clean up the waste and it could be decades more before they do. Urge the leadership of the House to let FUSRAP take control of cleaning up the West Lake Landfill.


Dear Mr. Ryan,

I’m writing in favor of having the Army Corps of Engineers take over jurisdiction for the West Lake Landfill. The EPA was designated in 1990 to remove radioactive waste from the site and still hasn’t done anything. Their lack of effort combined with the near subsurface smoldering event has left residents feeling unsafe in their own homes. That is why it is so important to put the Army Corps’ FUSRAP in charge as soon as possible. 

The FUSRAP is already in charge of other hazardous waste disposals in the Missouri community. They have acted swiftly and diligently with great public praise. Besides this, the local community is in favor of them taking control of the landfill. The EPA’s delay has been unacceptable and potentially dangerous. They even proposed to cap-and-leave the waste in 2008 without considering that fire or other environmental factors could potentially re-expose the waste. With the current underground fire and Missouri being in a flood zone, the radioactive material has enormous potential to explode or move into neighboring communities. Delaying action any further only puts citizens lives at risk. I urge you to act fast and place the Army Corps of Engineers in control over the West Lake Landfill. 


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Environmental Protection Agency

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