Tag Archives: Karen Nickel

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COVID-19 Pandemic Multiplies Worries For Residents Living Near West Lake Landfill

By Don Corrigan

Fear. Anxiety. Heartbreak. Those are words used by residents living near the radioactive West lake Landfill in North St. Louis County. Residents say their fear, their anxiety and their heartbreaks have multiplied in the 2020 pandemic because of weakened immune systems.

The COVID-19 virus can cause severe illness and death, especially for those with compromised immune systems. Many residents living in the vicinity of West Lake report that they already suffer ailments that they attribute to the nearby toxic landfill.

“The amount of fear and anxiety our community members have been forced to live with in regards to the landfill and toxins has doubled with COVID-19,” said Dawn Chapman, co-founder of Just Moms STL, an activist group that has fought for years for cleanup of the site. “Many of our residents are taking more extreme precautions in order to avoid this COVID-19 illness.

“If there is any good news, it is that we have learned to rely heavily on each other for support and other resources, while we have fought for a clean up at our site,” said Chapman. “Our community connections and relationships have really helped us during this viral pandemic. We are continuing to support and look after each other.”

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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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