Blunt, McCaskill Reintroduce Bill To Help West Lake Families

24 May

Blunt, McCaskill Reintroduce Bill To Help West Lake Families

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) today reintroduced legislation to transfer remediation authority over the West Lake landfill from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The legislation would place the site in the Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). Missouri Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner have introduced companion legislation in the House.
                                                     
“No parent should have to worry that their child is growing up in an unsafe or unhealthy environment,” Blunt said. “West Lake families have waited far too long for a solution to this issue and, while I’ve been encouraged by the new leadership at the EPA, it’s imperative that we look at all options necessary to expedite clean-up efforts. The Corps has extensive knowledge and expertise in this area, and strong support from the community. I’ll continue working with my colleagues, federal agencies, and local leaders to determine the best path forward to give families the peace of mind they deserve.”
 
“While this plan isn’t a silver bullet, it’s a concrete, positive step towards addressing the needs of the community around West Lake Landfill,” McCaskill said. “The community wants the site transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers program that oversees all other St. Louis sites that contain nuclear waste, and that’s what this legislation would do – helping move forward a process that has stalled for too long.”
 
The bill would not alter the current liability of potentially responsible parties at the site nor its designation as a Superfund site.
 
This measure represents the latest step in the delegation’s effort to utilize the Corps’ remediation expertise at the West Lake site. In July 2015, Blunt, McCaskill, Wagner, and Clay sent a letter to then-Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz asking the Department of Energy to re-evaluate whether West Lake qualified for inclusion in the Corps’ FUSRAP in light of new information regarding the source of radioactive waste at the site.
In February 2014, they also sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to contract directly with the Corps to handle remediation efforts through FUSRAP, citing the Corps’ “expertise in this area, and the local community’s faith in the Corps’ FUSRAP mission.” In March 2014, the agencies announced an agreement to work together to build a fire break at the West Lake landfill.

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