Radioactive Legacy of St. Louis: The Cost, The Human Suffering, The Power of Community

EPA Estimate for West Lake Radioactive Debris Cleanup
Landfill Cap: $95 Million
Partial Removal:   $236 Million
Total Removal:  $700 Million

Only now – after years of tears, diseases and deaths – does it seem that there is an acknowledgment of the full extent of the human damage that began when uranium ore came to St. Louis for processing for the manufacture of atomic weapons. And only now does there seem to be a realization of just how costly the cleanup of much of the resulting radioactive contamination will be.

“The truth is that until the last shovel full of this waste is removed from these areas, the region remains at risk,” said Dawn Chapman of Just MomsSTL. “The landfill fire helps people realize and think about all the issues surrounding this radioactive waste — and what can go wrong. It’s also an example of how dragging your feet and passing these issues on down the road leads to damaged health and looming emergency situations that could have been avoided.”

— Excerpted from Don Corrigan’s story in the next issue of Gateway Journalism Review. The story covers the reactions of Just MomsSTL members to the Feb. 1 announcement by EPA about plans to finally address the radioactive landfill at West Lake in North St. Louis County.

Pictured above: Dawn Chapman (Left) and Karen Nickel, co-founders of Just Moms STL.

Just MomsSTL will receive the Whistleblowers Awards from Gateway Journalism Review at its yearly event celebrating journalism in April:

WHAT:  Gateway Journalism Review’s yearly event celebration
WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. when our speaker will be Carl Bernstein at the Edward Jones HQ, Manchester & Ballas Roads.
WHERE:  Edward Jones HQ, Manchester & Ballas Roads, Des Peres.
HIGHLIGHTS:  Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post Watergate Investigation will be interviewed live from his New York location.
AWARDS:  Three awards to be presented:  2018 Whistle Blower Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 Freedom Fighter Award.

To see past coverage and podcast interviews about the West Lake Landfill and Cold Water Creek Radioactive Contamination Issue by Environmental Echo,
please see below:

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Homeowners Can Discover Advantages Of Native Landscaping During In-Depth Workshop March 31

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Homeowners can contribute significantly to making their neighborhoods and communities greener by planting native plants.   To help them get started, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and partners are once again presenting Partners for Native Landscaping Workshop.  The workshop will take place Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvey Road.

The workshop will provide information and resources that will enable homeowners to landscape their property with native plants to help create greener communities.  The event features a series of breakout sessions that will explore topics in greater depth.

Find more information and registration details below.

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The Ozark Trail: Images of Missouri’s Longest Hiking Trail, a new book by St. Louis Photographer/Author, Don Massey, Is Now Available!

Don Massey describes his work on this book as a “labor of love.” He says, “By putting the images in a book, I am hoping to share what the trail has to offer and the great gift and potential we have in creating and finishing the Ozark Trail.”

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“Under the Clock Tower: 2018 State of Forest Park Community Gathering”

The nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever and the City of St. Louis’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry will host a free public event from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center in Forest Park. At the third annual Under the Clock Tower: State of Forest Park Community Gathering, Park leadership will fill the public in on the latest happenings in Forest Park and answer questions from event attendees. The event will be emceed by Fox 2’s Jasmine Huda.

More about the event below.

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Don Corrigan Honored By Ulysses Grant Site For Outstanding Service

Timothy Good, superintendent for the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, presents Don Corrigan with an “Outstanding Service” award.

Don Corrigan, a Sunset Hills resident and editor of the South County Times, Webster-Kirkwood Times and West End Word, recently received an award for “Outstanding Service” from the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in Grantwood Village.

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Urban Chestnut Brewing Company Named One Of EPA’s 2017 WasteWise Winners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the prevention and diversion accomplishments of the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company in St. Louis, Mo., as one of 16 WasteWise national award winners, who collectively prevented and recycled over 355,801 tons of waste, saving $17.7 million in avoided landfill fees.

“This is yet another excellent example of the EPA partnering with communities and organizations to achieve environmental and economic benefits through waste prevention and management. The WasteWise award winners have exemplified tremendous environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility, and we commend their efforts,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

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Missouri Coalition for the Environment To Honor Heroes & Heroines of Missouri’s Big Rivers

Join MCE for a conversation on our rivers with Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and our retiring Big Rivers Director, Brad Walker. Tony will facilitate a conversation with Brad, who will reflect on how we allowed our rivers to be abused and suggest ways forward to restore and repair the damage.

When: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, MO 63103.

Tickets: $50 for adults, $35 seniors and students. Tickets include appetizers from Schlafly.  Purchase tickets HERE.

The Missouri & Mississippi Rivers and other area waterways have been exploited over decades by the federal government and corporations without serious consideration for the health of these invaluable natural resources.

Read more about the event and the honorees below.

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What Happens When Climate Change Alters Our Groundwater Patterns?

Here is an interesting look at how climate change could affect one of our most important resources- groundwater.

The article, “How climate change will mess with water ‘recharge’ in Western U.S.,” by the University of Arizona, and posted on Futurity, discusses a study about the possible changes to “groundwater recharge” due to climate change.

Read the article HERE.


NOAA Says 2017 Third Warmest Year On Record Without An El Niño Present

Interesting information from Climate Carl. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data on the “global year to date temperature anomalies.”

From Carl’s Climate Letter #1069:
Year-to-date comparison of global temperatures for 2017 and all previous years since 1880.  This year ranks as the third highest through November and is almost sure to hold that position for the full year.  The latest four years will all be included in the four highest of all-time.

See the report from Climate Carl’s analysis HERE.

Also, see NOAA’s “Assessing the Global Climate in 2017” report HERE.


Invasive Asian Carp Removal Set For Creve Coeur Lake Park

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Visitors to St. Louis County’s popular Creve Coeur Lake Park may experience some temporary restrictions in using the park for a two-week period between Jan. 21 and Feb. 17.  The long-term benefit, however, should be the near-eradication of the lake’s biggest nuisance—invasive Asian carp.

Read more below from the MDC about how the carp will be removed and restrictions to lake usage during the project.

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