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Missouri AG Announces Settlement With Republic Services Concerning Bridgeton/West Lake Landfill

Just Moms STL, a community advocacy group working to bring awareness and solutions for the West Lake Landfill nuclear waste issues,  published a press release about the Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley ‘s decision concerning Republic Services responsibility at the Bridgeton/West Lake Landfill site.

Below, we have included the Just Moms STL’s full release. The West Lake Landfill and Coldwater Creek in North St. Louis County is a regional issue. Communities and citizens should in the entire region should be aware of and understand the dangers and risks the tons of illegally dumped nuclear waste pose to the area.

“This site will never have a perfect solution and resident vigilance is needed now more than ever,” says Dawn Chapman. “We must ensure that nothing changes at this site and that all instituted controls are effective and in working order. This community could be at risk if even one system fails. We look towards our elected officials and St. Louis County to help us with this task.”

Read the full release below.

MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL SETTLES LONGSTANDING LAWSUIT AGAINST REPUBLIC SERVICES

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley settles the longstanding lawsuit against Republic Services over environmental noncompliance at Bridgeton/West Lake Landfill and public nuisance claims.

An underground fire, or subsurface smoldering event, was first reported to the state of Missouri in 2010. The state’s investigation determined the fire was a product of Republic Services’ neglect and mismanagement when gas extraction wells were intentionally overdrawn, thus introducing oxygen which allowed the gases to ignite. With no way to extinguish the underground fire, it is estimated to continue until 2024.

“This community has waited a long time for a step in the right direction in holding this company accountable for their actions. There are many moving pieces to this issue and entering into this consent decree with Republic Services, which now legally binds the company to financial responsibility, is something we thought we would never see,” says Karen Nickel.

Litigation was first filed in 2013 by then-Attorney General Chris Koster alleging Republic Services was noncompliant to environmental and waste management laws and a nuisance to the public. Subsequently, in 2015, Koster’s office released nine studies from expert witnesses relating to the underground fire and offsite radioactive contamination. “These reports underscore what has been clear from the beginning—Republic Services does not have this site under control. Not only does the landfill emit a foul odor, it appears that it has poisoned its neighbors’ groundwater and vegetation. The people of Missouri can’t afford to wait any longer—Republic needs to get this site cleaned up,” said Koster.

Just Moms STL is grateful and would like to thank our former Attorney General Chris Koster for initiating the suit and the follow-up studies, and to our current Attorney General Josh Hawley and his legal team for seeing this litigation through in the most effective and thorough way possible.

“This site will never have a perfect solution and resident vigilance is needed now more than ever,” says Dawn Chapman. “We must ensure that nothing changes at this site and that all instituted controls are effective and in working order. This community could be at risk if even one system fails. We look towards our elected officials and St. Louis County to help us with this task.”

JUST MOMS STL
Karen Nickel | Co-Founder
Dawn Chapman | Co-Founder

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