March 30, 2016
Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman, Co-Founders of Just Moms STL met with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy this afternoon to discuss relocation of the families who live near the burning Bridgeton Superfund site.
Both women explained the dire and urgent need for families to have the option to leave the area with their homes purchased. They stated that the fire is closer than anticipated and is frightening local families. They are concerned about what will happen if the fire reaches the Manhattan Project radioactive wastes. St. Louis county officials are preparing to assist residents and schools to shelter in place in the event of a nuclear plume. Local schools have sent letters to parents, asking them to provide extra doses of medication that students need on a daily basis.
The spokespeople for Just Moms STL explained that under the Superfund Authority Administrator McCarthy has the authority to move families immediately. Just Moms pleaded with her to begin by moving Spanish Village closest to the site, the mobile home park and then downwind.
“Administrator McCarthy said she is going to see how the EPA might be able to relocate people near the smoldering and radioactive landfill,” said Karen Nickel, co-founder of Just Moms STL. “We hope that Administrator McCarthy will move people immediately.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new report
on the extent of radioactive wastes at the smoldering West Lake Landfill in St. Louis County. The report shows the newly discovered radioactivity is closer to the ongoing smoldering fire than previously known. The EPA has so far refused, for over one year, requests by local residents to test the entire North Quarry as a grid for radioactivity.
Attorney General Koster has publicly supported the federal, bipartisan legislation that will put the Army Corps of Engineers’ specialized nuclear waste cleanup program in charge at the West Lake Landfill. The Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) is currently in charge of all the ongoing radioactive cleanup sites in the metro St. Louis area.
Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman of Just Moms also had a meeting with the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which advises President Obama on environmental policy and helps steer his environmental priorities. Nickel and Chapman pressed on the need for immediate action.
Lois Gibbs of the Center for Health Environment and Justice, Ed Smith of Missouri Coalition on the Environment and Chuck Stiles, the Assistant Director of the Teamsters Union Solid Waste & Recycling Division were also in the CEQ meeting. Along with supporting the need to relocate families exposed to toxins, Mr. Stiles raise labor aspects to this crisis that are yet unaddressed.