State Senate Passes Bill to Buy Homes Near West Lake Landfill

By on April 13, 2017

From St. Louis Public Radio:  A bill to create a buyout program for homes near the West Lake Landfill Superfund site in Bridgeton has been overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate.

Under the proposal, residents of the Spanish Village subdivision near the site could apply to sell their homes to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. As many as 91 families could have the option to move away from the World War II-era radioactive contamination at the West Lake Landfill, which sits about 600 feet from the underground smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill. Many residents have expressed concern about the potential health risks of living there.

“Passing this bill is a big message to the Environmental Protection Agency to either do their job or let us do what we need to do for our own citizens,” said state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, the bill’s sponsor.

The proposal passed the Senate 30 to 3. State. Sens. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit; Ron Richard, R-Joplin; and David Sater, R-Cassville were voted against the measure. A previous version of the bill was struck down last year by state legislators.

“This is a small victory in pursuit of getting relief for people living closest to the landfill,” said Ed Smith, policy director at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. The organization has fought to give residents the option to have their homes bought out for several years.

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