SECOND REGULAR SESSION
House Concurrent Resolution No. 3
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES ENGLISH (Sponsor), OTTO, HICKS, MEREDITH, MAYFIELD, BURNS, MIMS, MCCAHERTY, CORNEJO, HURST, MUNTZEL, WALKER, SMITH (85), HIGDON, CONWAY (10), ELLINGER, HAMPTON, COLONA, ENGLUND, MCCANN BEATTY, DUNN, FRAME, HUMMEL, REIBOLDT, RUNIONS, LAFAVER, FUNDERBURK, FITZWATER, BLACK, KELLEY (127), LEARA, MEREDITH, WHITE, NICHOLS, RIZZO, NORR, KIRKTON, ROORDA, MCNEIL, CURTIS, MORGAN, WALTON GRAY, MCKENNA, HARRIS, PACE, PIERSON, KRATKY, BUTLER, BAHR, SCHUPP, MCDONALD, MAY, KOLKMEYER, HANSEN, SHUMAKE, GATSCHENBERGER, PETERS, CARPENTER, ELLINGTON, MITTEN, MONTECILLO, RHOADS, MORRIS, LYNCH, SOMMER AND JONES (110) (Co-sponsors).
WHEREAS, seventy years ago the United States government hired Mallinckrodt Chemical Works (MCW), near downtown St. Louis, to purify tons of uranium for the production of nuclear weapons; and
WHEREAS, exposure to radioactive particles and rays released by uranium and related materials increases cancer and other life-shortening diseases and can cause genetic mutations and birth defects; and
WHEREAS, from 1946 until 1957, radioactive residues from the MCW uranium processing were trucked to a 22-acre site at the St. Louis Airport on Brown Road (now McDonnell Boulevard) on the banks of Coldwater Creek and were dumped there; and
WHEREAS, some of those MCW residues at the airport site were later trucked nearby to Latty Avenue in Hazelwood for drying and shipping to Colorado for reprocessing; and
WHEREAS in 1973 contractors who were hired to clean up Latty Avenue, after the drying and shipping operation there had been abandoned, illegally dumped large amounts of the Latty/Airport residues at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton; and
WHEREAS West Lake Landfill was designated a Superfund site under the jurisdiction of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1990; and
WHEREAS West Lake is in the Missouri River floodplain, and some of the buried radioactive wastes are already in contact with the groundwater that flows into the Missouri River, upstream from drinking water intakes for North Saint Louis County and the City of Saint Louis; and
WHEREAS West Lake Landfill is adjacent to the Earth City levee, and since levees can fail, the radioactive materials at West Lake could be released in an uncontrolled manner into the Missouri River; and
WHEREAS an underground fire at West Lake has remained uncontrolled since its discovery in October, 2012; and
WHEREAS, some landfill fires elsewhere have been known to burn for years, the existing fire or a future fire at West Lake could reach the areas where the radioactive wastes were dumped; and
WHEREAS the landfill is located within the airshed of Missouri’s largest population center and the West Lake long-lived radioactive wastes will continue releasing radioactive particles and gases into the environment literally for hundreds of thousands of years and beyond; and
WHEREAS in 1997 the United States Army Corps of Engineers was assigned responsibility for the cleanup of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP); and
WHEREAS the radioactive wastes at West Lake were part of the same MCW wastes that the Corps has been removing from Saint Louis City and County sites; and
WHEREAS the Corps expects that the trained and experienced FUSRAP workers will continue the MCW radioactive waste remediation and closure projects in St. Louis City and County for at least another five years.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-seventh General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby request the United States Congress to transfer the responsibility for the radioactive waste cleanup at West Lake Landfill from the EPA Superfund Program to the Corps of Engineers Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program in order to assure and expedite the removal of the radioactive wastes from the landfill to a federally licensed or state permitted radioactive waste disposal facility away from water and away from people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.