Category Archives: Environment

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Are Weeds Edible? Catrina Adams Says, Yes!

Pictured: Catrina Adams. Photo by Diana Linsley.

Catrina Adams, who teaches a class in the Master Naturalist Program on the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood, has a timely message for you: “It’s OK to eat the weeds!”

In fact, that’s the actual name for her college continuing education class: “It’s OK to Eat the Weeds: Wild Edible Plants of Spring.” This past Saturday (5/4/18), she was hunting for weeds on campus with a dozen students who enrolled in the course.

“Plants I focus on in my Meramec class this time of year are the ones that people are pulling out of their yards and out of the garden,” said Adams.

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West Lake Landfill Whistleblowers Honored

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

Two brave ladies from North County were honored at the Gateway Journalism Review (GJR)annual First Amendment Celebration.

Dawn Chapman and Karen Nickel, founders of Just Moms STL, an advocacy group focused on the cleanup of nuclear waste contained in West Lake Landfill, were honored for “blowing the whistle” on the inept handling of atomic waste in the St. Louis region. Every day more St. Louis residents are becoming aware of our city’s role in the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb – and the deadly legacy left behind here.

Read more below about St. Louis’ nuclear waste issues and the people working to bring awareness to the public.

Check out Don Corrigan’s latest for the Gateway Journalism Review an informative article titled  “Activists draw national attention and EPA response to the atomic city” – Read the article HERE

Also, read Corrigan’s second article for the GJR –  “Documentary movies draw attention to the atomic city” – Read the article HERE.

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Public Voices Both Concern and Support For New Trail Extension Planned For I-44 Bridge

Photo by Diana Linsley/Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Hikers, bikers and joggers are gaga over the prospect of traveling over the Meramec River on a trail extension using a rebuilt Interstate 44 bridge complex. Bridge construction could begin later this year with a 2021 completion date.

“We’re looking at this as a once-in-a-50-year opportunity – to be able to use a new, major river bridge like this,” said Seth Treptow, communications manager for Great Rivers Greenway.
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Climate Change and Weather Predictability?

Picture courtesy James Kramper, National Weather Service.

As climate change continues to disrupt weather patterns and seasonality across the U.S. and the world, a new study from the University of Missouri suggests weather forecasts will remain predictable.

This is good news for those worried local weather news meteorologist will no longer be able to predict raging weather patterns that produce life and property-threatening issues, like tornados, blizzards, extreme flooding and severe lightning storms.

Take a few minutes and check out the MIZZU information and video on the new study HERE.

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Local Citizens Organize To “Save Sugar Creek”

photo by Ursula Ruhl/Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Sugar Creek Valley in Kirkwood has been called a wildflower haven, painters’ paradise and architects’ alley. The verdant drive that descends on West Adams Avenue, past Ballas Road, is dotted with homes of distinguished architecture on large wooded lots.

Many admirers would love to reside there, and if area developers had their way, many more homes would find a place on the lovely sloping hillsides. Homeowners who now reside in Sugar Creek naturally are protective – and wary of residential encroachment.

A proposal to rezone a 1.98 acre lot on 1837 Bach Ave. to allow more homes has neighbors getting organized. They have formed “Save Sugar Creek” and already have shown up in numbers at a planning and zoning subcommittee meeting in Kirkwood.

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Celebrate Trees During Arbor Days In April

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Just in case you have not noticed yet, the local Redbuds are looking like they want to start blooming. Spring is around the corner! Finally!

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers a great idea to help celebrate our trees during Arbor Days.

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EPA Updates Public About West Lake Landfill and Requests Public Comment Submissions

EPA public meeting about proposed West Lake Landfill remedies held March 6, 2018, in Bridgeton, Mo.

To simply write that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public meeting detailing proposed remedies for West Lake Landfill was a packed house would be an understatement. The meeting hall was overflowing and parking was a mess. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people attended.

The meeting, held March 6, 2018, in Bridgeton, Mo, outlined the eight different plans the EPA is currently considering as a remedy to the illegally dumped radioactive waste contained in West Lake Landfill.

Continue reading below to see outlines of the eight proposed West Lake Landfill remedies, and video clips of the comments made at the meeting by Just Moms stl co-founders Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman, Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs, and Albert Kelly, chair of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force and advisor to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

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Stop Blocking The Grainbelt Express for Clean St. Louis Energy

Photo Courtesy Webster-Kirkwood Times.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen last fall passed a measure aimed at powering the city entirely on renewable energy sources, including wind and power by 2035. The action drew national praise.

It’s an ambitious proposal that faces a lot of roadblocks. St. Louis is home to three major coal companies that haven’t been shy about expressing their opposition.

Find out more about this topic below.

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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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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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