North County residents demand Massive Environmental Clean-Up

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NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KPLR) - North St. Louis County residents worried about nuclear waste in a Bridgeton landfill want action from the EPA.  Residents met Saturday with a Los Angeles attorney who works with environmental activist Erin Brockovich to talk about options.

Many say it is time for the EPA to turn the property over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the contaminants to a secure site in an unpopulated area.  Fill used in the West Lake Landfill on St. Charles Rock Road contains some nuclear material.  Similar material stored near the airport contaminated Coldwater Creek.

They also want a health survey that will include residents who have moved away from the north county area to see if there are unusual levels of cancer cases among those who grew up there.

Jennifer Smith, now from St. Charles, grew up along Coldwater Creek in Florissant.  She said she was diagnosed with leukemia while living out of state.  She has three children with health problems including seizures and autoimmune issues.  "It makes me very angry," she said after the public meeting Saturday at the Operating Engineers Union hall in Bridgeton.

Property values are another issue for residents of homes near the landfill or creek.

"I've lived here 20 years and I never knew about radioactive material at the landfill," said Glenn Bradtke of the Spanish Village subdivision.

Attorney Tom Girardi of Los Angeles called the problem "massive."  He said tracking medical problems to the toxic exposure will be a "long process."

The next public meeting will be Monday, June 17 at 7pm at Pattonville High School cafeteria.  Representatives of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will speak.

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