Target: Michael Hague, EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator
Goal: Disclose if hazardous toxins are nearby before Missouri residents purchase homes.
Missouri residents are finding out that their properties are next to a radioactive Superfund site. Superfund sites are usually landfills containing hazardous materials that the EPA is in charge of cleaning up. The West Lake Landfill was deemed a Superfund site over thirty years ago, yet homeowners were never told that their houses were located next to toxic waste. Now, locals live in constant fear for their safety. Missouri law does not require real estate agents or lenders to notify future residents of nearby toxic waste sites. This needs to change. Demand that Missouri disclose nearby Superfund sites to all potential buyers.
Most residents near Bridgeton, Missouri weren’t aware of the toxic waste site until letters arrived stating potential evacuation plans. These letters came after an underground fire was in danger of coming in contact with the waste. Others found out when their children contracted autoimmune diseases from toxins in the atmosphere. There is no way to know if the Supersite was the cause, but families with sick children don’t see any other possibilities.
Missouri disclosure laws only state that buyers must be informed if hazardous materials were found on their property. They don’t require people to be informed if hazards are nearby. This falls on the real estate agent’s due diligence, which can easily be blinded by the prospect of a good sell. Every active Superfund site in Missouri poses a potential danger to residents. This state is prone to floods and tornadoes, which can easily disrupt the land where nuclear materials are kept. Information like this shouldn’t be hidden. Demand that these dangerous sites be disclosed to any future homebuyers in Missouri.
Dear Mr. Hague,
It has recently been brought to residents’ attention that the West Lake Landfill is a Superfund site. Unfortunately, before purchasing their home, many citizens did not know they were living next to hazardous waste. Now that they know, they feel angered and taken advantage of. There is currently no law put in place that requires buyers to know if a house is in close proximity to a Superfund site. I ask that your EPA chapter help change this and make real estate agents or lenders disclose this information.
There has been recent reports of children developing autoimmune diseases from toxins in the atmosphere. While there is no guarantee the Superfund site is the cause, many parents think it is. If they were notified of the nearby toxins beforehand, they might be less skeptical. They could have also monitored their child’s health differently or lived in a nearby community away from the landfill. When there is hazardous material that is still active and potentially dangerous, homes nearby must be warned. It will reduce panic and let families be adequately prepared if something does happen.
Most people don’t know what a Superfund site is, let alone know to check the EPA’s website. The website itself is not helpful as it is only broken up by states, not cities. The current methods in place are not good enough to inform people if there is a Superfund site in their area. I ask that you please make Superfund sites known to potential buyers by creating a law that requires real estate agents or lenders to disclose this information.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Christian Fisher