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EPA comments on intentions to build isolation barrier

EPA Region 7 welcomed a commitment by Republic Services, Inc., to construct an isolation barrier at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Missouri, according to regional administrator Karl Brooks.

Although EPA has not yet seen the formal, detailed plans that will outline the construction of such a barrier, the Agency learned that Republic Services has committed to the project. The barrier will separate Bridgeton Landfill, which Republic Services manages, from the radiation-contaminated material at the West Lake Landfill Site, which EPA oversees.

“This Agency is pleased that Republic Services intends to apply those provisions of its agreement with the State of Missouri to take this positive and protective step,” EPA regional administrator Brooks said.

In May, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that his office had negotiated a legal order with Republic Services, requiring the company to take a series of steps to contain and control odorous gases at the Bridgeton Landfill, address the underground smoldering, and provide temporary relocation assistance to local residents affected by the odors. The state’s order also requires Republic Services to compensate the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for its costs related to environmental sampling and monitoring. The action was brought under the state’s legal authority to regulate Republic Services’ operation of the Bridgeton Landfill.

EPA Region 7 will continue to oversee a separate and ongoing supplemental environmental investigation, focusing on groundwater sampling, radiation sampling, and more detailed site characterization at West Lake Landfill. That investigation ultimately will inform the Agency’s work as it develops an amended Record of Decision, which will outline a final remedy for the site.