Environmental Occupiers Delay St. Louis Cleanup Project

Green activists chain themselves in front of landfill, claim EPA-supervised cleanup not enough

As parents we hope our children will grow up to become responsible, contributing members to society, fixing problems rather than causing them. What we don’t want them to do is spend their days studying to be social justice warriors without a purpose, wearing adult diapers, trying to attract media attention to the next phony cause of the day.

Recently, activists from Earth Defense Coalition and the SoulFire Caravan chained themselves to concrete filled barrels to block the entrance to the West Lake Landfill, just outside of St. Louis. They screeched that they were protesting to draw attention to what they claimed is the federal government’s lack of action in cleaning up the polluted landfill.

Yes, the Westlake landfill is a radioactive mess that needs to be purged of all its waste, including the protesters blocking the cleanup.

There’s more to this story than the hysterics of the protesters. The West Lake site should be cleaned up, but the protesters — along with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who is carrying their water in Congress — are doing more to create problems than to fix them.

The site probably does contain some radiological waste, dumped there in the 1970s when we all knew less about such things. Studies conducted by the federal, state, and county health and environmental authorities have repeatedly found the site to be stable and pose no danger to anyone. In fact, for the past 44 years, the federal government has planned to clean up the site, located in Bridgeton, Missouri.

Were it not for the interference of the protesters, who want the Army Corps of Engineers to take over cleanup of the site, at tremendous taxpayer expense, the landfill cleanup would have already moved forward and been paid for by the owner under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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But these professional protesters, using names like “Just Moms,” are demanding that Congress, specifically Sens. McCaskill and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and also Reps. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), introduce legislation to move cleanup of the site from the EPA to the Army Corps of Engineers. This abrupt move could delay cleanup of the landfill for years and shift costs to taxpayers.

The protesters don’t just want the landfill cleaned up and more testing done, but they also want homeowners in neighborhoods closest to the landfill to be bought out and relocated.

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“The landfill is dangerously close to the radioactive waste that’s also being held here on site. We want to attention [sic] nothing is being done about the radioactive waste even though Bridgeton has cried for it. Citizens are crying and nothing [sic] being done. We don’t feel like we are being heard,” Maria Fonseca, a protester told station KPLR.

Oh, they’ve been heard! Sen. McCaskill is helping them keep the chaos in motion by working to impede the cleanup process. The EPA was scheduled to begin the clean up in 2016. Her proposals — which she says would produce a better, faster cleanup — actually push the start date for any cleanup out later and later. If McCaskill hadn’t intervened, it’s conceivable the project might even be finished by now. Of course, this begs a more obvious question: If the protesters believe there’s an urgent need to clean up the site, why would they want to delay the process anymore? What’s really going on here? It seems that these social justice warriors are being funded by a group with a secret agenda.

Yes, the Westlake landfill is a radioactive mess that needs to be purged of all its waste, including the protesters blocking the cleanup.

Crystal is a communications consultant and editor and publisher of the blog Conservative Black Chick. Wright is author of the newly released book “Con Job: How Democrats Gave Us Crime, Sanctuary Cities, Abortion Profiteering, and Racial Division.”

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