West Lake Landfill Owner Targets Another Company to Help Fund Cleanup

By on November 7, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Republic Services — the waste hauler whose subsidiary, Bridgeton Landfill, owns the radioactive West Lake Landfill Superfund site — may have signaled its strategy for coping with the $205 million cleanup that the Environmental Protection Agency ordered for the site in late September: lawsuits fought on multiple fronts, to help spread out costs.

Building on a lawsuit filed last week against the historic chemical manufacturer and ex-uranium processor, Mallinckrodt, the landfill’s owners filed an amended suit Thursday in U.S. District Court that attempts to enlist yet another entity to bear liability at the site, and may hint at even more legal battles to come.

EverZinc, a Belgian producer of zinc chemicals, joins Mallinckrodt as a defendant in the latest version of the lawsuit. The company is asked to pay for the alleged role of its predecessor, African Metals Corp., in the eventual contamination of the site, with Republic seeking recovery of costs that it “has incurred and will continue to incur,” associated with West Lake.

In 1944, African Metals Corp. provided uranium ore and ore concentrates that were used as part of the Manhattan Project, according to the lawsuit. It states that the company underwent a series of name changes over the decades, and today is a part of EverZinc.

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