“One Good Reason to Avoid Landfills”

In a sarcastic email exchange, a Missouri Department of Natural Resources expert gives his candid assessment of the situation at West Lake Landfill, circa 2013. In a word, it’s “HORRIBLE.”



For years, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has remained quiet regarding the situation at the West Lake Landfill. The state regulatory agency claims it can’t comment publicly because of pending litigation filed on its behalf by the Missouri attorney general against Republic Services, owner of the smoldering, radioactive landfill.

As a result, DNR’s reticence has helped spur mistrust among residents, who remain enraged over the stalled clean up of the EPA Superfund site in North St. Louis County, where an underground fire has been smoldering for more than four years.

The DNR email cited in this story — which was released by the state agency under the Missouri Sunshine Law, takes a small step towards breaks the state agency’s silence.

Unfortunately, it’s bad news.

In a word, the state official who penned the correspondence considers the stench wafting from West Lake Landfill as “HORRIBLE.” At the same time, he appears relieved that he isn’t responsible for dealing with the problem.

“The gas seeping out is HORRIBLE,” said Chris Cady, a DNR project manager for the agency’s Brownfields Clean Up Program. When Cady sent the message on March 28, 2013 to a family member, he also mentioned another danger: “If that wasn’t enough, a remote section of the landfill has thousands of tons of radioactive tailings from uranium enrichment by the Malinkcrodt (sic) Chemical St. Louis plant during the cold war which was moved and re-disposed there in 1973.”

Of course, there is nothing “remote” about the location of the radioactive waste at the landfill. The contamination is present prominently in two location, one of which borders the front of the landfill along St. Charles Rock Road. Moreover, since Cady wrote the email three years ago, the underground fire has moved even closer to the radioactive materials.

Cady, a PhD, also took exception to a warning raised in 2013 by an unnamed academic expert who also holds a doctoral degree. “Now some university professor (darn those PhDs) says the landfill gas could explode in a dirty bomb scenario and contaminate everyone with rad waste. Which is bogus, but simply adds fuel to the fire,” Cady wrote.

The recipient of Cady’s email responded by saying “the dirty bombe (sic) scenario is funny, or would be if it wasn’t so sad.”

Cady titled the subject of his email: “One good reason to avoid landfills,” and described the situation as a “mess.” He judged the problem to be “a bad one, [a] real public health threat and an emergency.” At the same time, Cady seemed to dismiss the risks posed by the radioactive materials, and said that the subsurface smoldering event at West Lake was not that “uncommon” despite their presence.

Based on his cavalier tone and condescending attitude, it’s a safe bet that the agency he represents is not intent on doing anything beyond kibitzing in private, and letting the fire run its course. In the meantime, about the only action the DNR can be counted on to do is  doles out more contracts to privateers.


One thought on ““One Good Reason to Avoid Landfills”

  1. My great uncle was a dentist. He used an old-time x-ray machine to x-ray patients to determine what dental work needed to be done. Neither he, nor his patients, took any precautions, no lead covers or blankets– low dose x-rays, so we have been told by many governmental “experts”, present no short or long term health issues. Years before he died, his arms, neck, chest, were visibly covered with “low dose radiation” burns, actually, horrific and painful sores. Truth be known–he died from these, not the ones you could see, but the ones you couldn’t see–internally. Do you know how to tell if a politician is lying? Answer: their lips move! We, the people, have been lied to for DECADES. Radiation, at ANY level is a major health risk! Radioactive wastes are being hauled cross country and many of our WESTERN STATES, are becoming “RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORIES”–Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah. The East Coast states, DOWN TOWN ST. LOUIS— TEXAS, ALL ALONG THE GREAT LAKES SHORES. PEOPLE have wondered for several decades, why we have so many different cancers, illnesses, especially, in children. Research”SUPER FUND”,” MALLINCKRODT”, “REPUBLIC SERVICES” and see for yourself. We are being killed off, systematically, by our own government. Where there was no poisoning, or radioactive waste, it is being hauled in. This is–for a fact–a huge cover-up and a huge failure of our government–money is not the problem–the problem is “What do we do with all of these poisons and radioactive wastes–build more nuclear power plants?


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