BRIDGETON, Mo. - NewsChannel 5 has obtained hundreds of documents regarding the health risks at the West Lake Landfill, dating back to the mid-1980s.
Based on these 30-year-old documents, it appears public officials today are contradicting what was originally said.
There are hundreds of pages of documents from the Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, and private contractors hired to test gamma rays in around the landfill.
Back in the mid-'80s one document details that "The Missouri Department of Natural Resources personnel have characterized the site containment as leaking and unsound."
The report details the 7,000 tons of low-level uranium ore contaminating the site and how exposure can cause kidney and liver damage, lung cancer, and lymphoma.
But it also reveals that West Lake "…is contaminated with 4,000 tons of chlordane….an insecticide that can cause blurred vision, delirium, and cancer in lab animals."
The DNR documents from the '80s conclude, "Based on available information, a health threat exists due to toxic effects of chemicals and low level uranium wastes buried at the site and the possibility that off-site migration of the materials might occur because of the unsound condition of the site."
Other reports from the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) show ground water contamination even 30 years ago. Buried inside this report is confirmation that "…the threat to public health gets worse in the years and centuries ahead."
NewsChannel 5 contacted the DNR and the Department of Energy to better understand why officials believe things are better now than they were 30 years ago. A DNR spokesperson suggested we contact the EPA since that is the agency in charge of the site.
We are waiting to hear back from both the EPA and the DOE.