UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — State senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal is beating the drum against the failures to contain potentially deadly toxic waste at the West Lake landfill.
The landfill falls in her district, and Chappelle-Nadal has taken a particularly aggressive approach in recent days after Attorney General Chris Koster publicly released the findings his office would be citing in court in their lawsuit against Republic Services Inc., which is set to begin next spring.
Chappelle-Nadal began last week with a ferocious social-media blitz, calling on local residents to organize and demand more immediate cleanup of the site, which houses radioactive waste dumped there from the Manhattan Project. Chappelle-Nadal as well as her supporters say the sites where the waste was dumped are not safe for people.
“Is there another state senator in America that has to wear a gas mask in two locations w/in a senate district for two separate reasons?” Chappelle mused on her social media. She also suggested that because most of the sites in question were in areas with large numbers of minorities, the issue was not being treated as seriously.
She publicly noted that the St. Louis Rams practice site tested positive for radiation and says the St. Louis County Board of Elections offices were exposed as well, and called on St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger to declare a State of Emergency for the locations. Stenger called the suggestion a “joke” and, along with the state’s Department of Natural Resources, says the sites are not dangerous for people.
Today, Chappelle-Nadal sent a letter to Stenger asking that his administration presents a plan for Board of Elections employees “that seeks to identify whether employees are suffering from a statistically significant increase in rare cancers and diseases, such as those found around Westlake Landfill and Coldwater Creek.”
“If the contamination is anything like what we are seeing at Westlake, then it is entirely possible that both Rocket Park and Deer Creek are contaminated as they are down the hill from the Sunnen Business Park,” Chappelle-Nadal said.
Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email email@example.com or via Twitter at @CMReischman