Federal delegation sends mixed messages on what Pruitt should do with West Lake Landfill

WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday the agency will announce West Lake Landfill plans in January.

“We should be able to announce a decision in the month of January,” Pruitt said. “There are proposals that I am looking at this month to make a decision on West Lake. It has been a long time coming, specifically 27 years. It is a very important issue for the people of St. Louis.”

“It has taken the agency 27 years to make a decision on whether to excavate or cap the site,” Pruitt added. “That is unacceptable.”

Options explored for the landfill have included capping or removing the waste. The Missouri legislature has strongly opposed removing the waste and transporting it across the state.


Just Moms STL co-founder Dawn Chapman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the federal delegation opposes capping the landfill.
“I do know for certain that our congressional offices – bipartisan, Democrat and Republican – have told him, ‘Don’t you cap this – don’t do it,’” Chapman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
However, that doesn’t seem to be an accurate picture of Missouri’s federal delegation’s views on it.
Molly Teichman, chair of the Coalition to Keep Us Safe, a group of concerned farmers, law enforcement, county commissioners and legislators that support a cap solution at the site.
“Mrs. Chapman is entitled to her own opinion, but she’s not entitled to her own facts,” Teichman said. “Only Rep. Lacy Clay supports a dangerous plan for excavation that will be long, dangerous and expensive. The rest of the delegation remains committed to a safe and quick cleanup. That fact is that excavation only delays cleanup at the site and puts more locals and workers at risk.”


Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.

Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.

To contact Rachael, email rachael@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.