As if poisoned waters in North County via the contaminated Coldwater Creek wasn’t already a serious environmental problem, there is a greater urgency in protecting people from the potential of radioactive fallout from fires burning deep inside the West Lake Landfill. In both cases, the waste came from the careless dumping of toxic byproducts after developing weapons of mass destruction used in the WWII.
For decades, Carrollton silently rested in the middle of environmental disasters. Two disasters that were only publicly exposed in recent years. Disasters that have quietly sickened an unknown percentage of the population of North County who likely considered themselves just plain unlucky. Those of us who grew up in North County now begin to wonder when, not if, we will be affected. Today, we wonder not if, but when, the subterranean fires will burn their way into the radioactive waste field.
From the St. Louis County Emergency Operations Plan (West Lake Landfill Evacuation Plan): “Muncipalities directly affected are Bridgeton, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, the Village of Champ, and the City of St. Charles.”
Despite being developed a year ago, releasing it to the public is very telling of the potential for this plan to be a necessity. Today’s release of the plan is a warning that we need to be on closer guard. The fact that his was only the 8th headline down on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website means it will get overlooked by many who will need to read it.