ST. LOUIS (AP) - The regional head of the Environmental Protection Agency is assuring Missouri's attorney general that progress is being made at a St. Louis County landfill, where underground smoldering is just a few hundred feet from buried nuclear waste.
EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks sent a letter on Friday to Attorney General Chris Koster, noting that a construction agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers will soon be complete for an "isolation barrier" at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.
The barrier will seek to provide reassurance that the smoldering will never make it to the nuclear site.
Koster sent a letter earlier this week urging the EPA to move more quickly. The letter came a year after Koster sued the landfill owner, Republic Services, alleging violation of environmental laws.
Bridgeton Landfill LLC has released the following statement:
"The safety of both sites has always been our highest priority. Our neighbors and community are frustrated by years of delay since the Agency's decision to reconsider its 2008 Record of Decision. While the studies continue, we are committed to the rapid construction of an isolation barrier, once a plan has been approved by regulatory authorities."
Sen. Claire McCaskill released the following statement to NewsChannel 5:
"The top priority in this situation continues to be the health and safety of this community. While this step represents positive movement, I'll continue working closely with Senator Blunt, Congresswoman Wagner, and Congressman Clay to exert pressure on these agencies to keep the process moving forward and the community fully informed."
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)