Feds weigh in on Bridgeton Landfill concerns

BRIDGETON, Mo. - A branch of the Centers for Disease Control is now weighing in on the radioactive West Lake Landfill and the neighboring Bridgeton Landfill after a recent report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised concerns for firefighters near the landfills.

The report was done at the request of the firefighters' union because some feel there are still too many unknowns on the other side of this fence. The report found, among other things, the wastes at the landfills have been poorly defined.

It also says equipment used to monitor the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill can be compromised by that very fire.

The report says risks to firefighters responding to an emergency could include a landfill collapse and exposure to contaminants in the air.

Matt LaVanchy, assistant fire chief for the Pattonville Fire Protection District tells NewsChannel 5 his department is working with republic services to improve an emergency management plan.

"Between us and the landfill owners we're going to back and write a response to NIOSH and inform that some of the things that they've made suggestions on have already taken place," said LaVanchy.

A spokesman for the landfill says the report, which was requested in February, is outdated. He also says it doesn't reflect progress made between landfill crews and first responders.


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