Easter, 2017

west lake landfill overlayA “fire” at the #West Lake Landfill is headed towards a huge amount of radioactive waste that was illegally dumped as part of the Manhattan Project about forty years ago.
There is a lot of uncertainty about both the location of the fire and the location of the nuclear waste, and at this point they seem to be about ? 300 – 750 feet apart ?
The smoldering fire is a chemical reaction below the surface that has been burning for more than five years; it’s the size of several football fields and will not go out by itself.  No one has ever successfully put out a landfill fire, and no attempts are being made to put the “fire” out.
The fire is being monitored by the State of Missouri, the landfill is owned by waste hauler Republic Services, and the EPA has jurisdiction over the West Lake Landfill, making for a very complicated tangle of legalities, responsibilities and liabilities.  The West Lake Landfill is the worst Superfund site in America, and Superfund Rules mean that the “responsible parties” must agree on a plan before the plan takes action.  The Responsible Parties include Republic Services, a large nuclear company that keeps changing names, and the federal government. All these players have all been talking about this SuperFund Site for over forty years, and no forward movement has ever been made. By the way, SuperFund started out as a good idea, a “polluter pays” system to clean up environmental messes, until Papa Bush grabbed the $4b in funds, and effectively gutted the program. Remember the Love Canal and the mom who fought for justice?  That was Lois Gibbs; the SuperFund Program was started because of her. Moms are amazing.
Both the EPA and Republic Services have long insisted that there is little or no threat to the public, that the landfill should be “capped” with a layer of dirt, and that nothing will happen should the fire meet the nuclear waste.  In addition, the landfill company has launched a sophisticated misinformation campaign called, “The Coalition to Keep Us Safe”.

While the EPA has always maintained that there is “no imminent danger” to the public, Rolling Stone calls the unfolding scenario a “dirty bomb”.  One blogger calls it “the mother of all dirty bombs”.  Erin Brokovich tweets about America’s “worst” environmental disaster as it unfolds, and previous Attorney General Koster called it a “potential Chernobyl event”;  he sued Republic Services on behalf of the State of Missouri for over 800+ violations.  Class action environmental lawyers have stood up in public and said it is clear that our governmental is paralyzed at every level. The local government of Bridgeton is operating behind closed doors, and both Missouri Senators, and a few House Reps have close ties to nuke money.

No one knows what might happen should the fire meet the radioactive waste.  The best guess is there won’t be a mushroom cloud;  more likely an invisible smoke plume.  The Pattonville Fire Department is standing valiantly by, and will do what needs to be done, but you can tell the firemen didn’t sign up for this.

The site does not seem to be well monitored, data is difficult to get your hands on, the local news can be misleading, and there have been at least two or three “real” fires at the landfill.  In February 2014, a mother was driving home from church on a Sunday morning, saw this smoke emerging from the landfill, and took a picture of it with her cell phone.  The incident was not reported, no readings were taken and nothing was reported in the news media.


Then again, in October 2015, a utility pole sparked a grass fire within a few feet of radioactive waste, which was noticed by a passing motorist, who drove down the street and alerted the fire department.  Emergency sirens have long been missing from the area, and one has only recently been installed.  For those living in Saint Louis: how would you possibly know if a toxic smoke cloud were suddenly drifting over your head?

Below is a link to the emergency plan and contact information.  The current plan is to shelter in place until instructed otherwise. If you study Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or Fukushima, in no circumstance has any government ever alerted their citizens in any kind of timely manner in the event of any nuclear disaster.

State of Missouri Emergency Plan: WordPress Site 

Mark Diedrich, (314) 615-9500. Email: mdiedrich@stlouisco. com


The third week of October 2015 began a dramatic string of escalating events: Schools nearest the landfill sent contingency plans home to parents, causing the West Lake Landfill Facebook Page to swell to 18k, while international media, nuclear activists & health experts from around the world began to tune in.  Also that week: the landfill began leaking vast amounts of leachate, (“landfill juice”), beginning a long string of pump failures & leachate problems that have not stabilized since. The leachate is highly corrosive, and probably radioactive, and the landfill is releasing 2 million gallons of it per week.  Some of it must surely be escaping into the river and into the downstream drinking water supply.  The leachate is known to be flowing down a pipeline and overwhelming a sewer treatment plant in North Saint Louis.

The landfill is technically two contiguous landfills that run together — the Bridgeton and the West Lake Landfill —  they are contiguous and not separate or separated by any kind of barrier in any way, even if the media sometimes gets it wrong unintentionally or if the misinformation campaign purposefully misleads the public.  The landfill is holding 20x spent uranium as Fukushima, and 163x Chernobyl  — more spent waste than three of the biggest nuclear dumps in America, combined.  It’s almost 50,000 tons of nuclear waste (barium sulfate) mixed with dirt:  think of it as the size of a Nuclear Arch.  Actually, it’s the size of three Nuclear Arches. If you’ve ever visited our Arch in Saint Louis, well, it’s really, really enormously big.

Nobody knows exactly what’s in the dump, but what is known is not good. A truck driver has been recorded on broadcast TV describing exactly where he drove two semi-trucks down a ramp into the landfill, abandoned them at dusk, and watched as they were covered up. Also in the dump: uranium from a German submarine, captured by the Americans on it’s way to Japan during WWII.  And don’t forget, this is already a Super Fund Site, currently incinerating all sorts of chemical nasties into the neighborhood through a flare system. The press has long tried to localize the issue to the city of Bridgeton, by focusing on the “bad smell”; but if you know anything at all about how bad it is to breathe burning plastic or chemicals, then you know it’s bad before adding radionuclides into the picture.

Meanwhile – A handful of moms and environmentalists lost complete faith in the EPA long ago, know that the situation is not safe by any stretch of the imagination, and want the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the radioactive waste, before the fire makes contact, through a program called FUSRAP, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Army Corps of Engineers can be ordered to service only by the President, or an act of Congress.  We can all guess how well that’s going at this point, with both the EPA and the Department of Energy actively being dismantled.

Every time you dig deeper, the story gets worse: the landfill is located in the floodplain of the Missouri River, just upstream from two intake facilities that provide drinking water for the City of Saint Louis.  This is an old, unlined, unregulated landfill, and toxic waste flows freely into the groundwater; the EPA recently named the groundwater under the landfill as it’s own new Superfund site (OU3).  As beloved local Rabbi Susan Talve so eloquently stated: “If toxic waters contaminate the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers, there is not enough bottled water in all the world to save any of us”.

In short: Seriously Not Good.
Disclaimer: I am “just a mom” and a nature guide, not a scientist, doctor or investigative journalist.  I have synthesized the information available to me to the best of my ability, and summarized it above.  The situation is complicated, technical and somewhat confusing; it takes hours of dedicated effort to put the bigger picture together and keep up with quickly unfolding events.  The media is fragmented or sometimes outright misleading, the “mom’s” Facebook Page can be chaotic, and governmental offices take your calls but provide little or no information in return. It would be impossible to figure out what’s going on by relying on the media alone, especially local media.
Most of my knowledge comes from going to meetings, reading technical documents and calling up real people on the phone; so consider my summary to be “roughly right” and do your own homework.  My name is Jessie Hoagland and I started Green Spiral Tours to help connect families with their place on their planet.  I live 10 miles (downwind) from the landfill and  discovered the nuclear fire several years ago, while picking strawberries with families on a field trip.

Spring 2017 Update: In the wake of the surprise election of the current 45th President, the “Moms” who have done so much to raise awareness and lobby their elected officials for a solution, have pulled back to a State level, and have now successfully pushed SB22 through the Missouri Senate.  SB22 buys the houses located within a one mile radius around the landfill so that the families can move with their equity intact. The “Moms” were able to accomplish this great feat by securing independent and expensive scientific testing of air, soil and dust in a seven mile radius around the landfill.  Turns out, one particular and highly toxic isotope (Thorium) was found in enormous quantities in dust samples behind people’s refrigerators in their kitchens.  This was scientific data that the EPA denied providing in the past, but was unable to be denied in the end. The bill is currently being considered by the House.

Again, “Moms are Amazing.”

Do your own homework: Thus ends the shortest summary I can muster for a super complicated and technical topic.  Read on for a hodge-podge of links, maps and more detailed information about drinking water, testing and nuclear radiation in general. Here’s where I’m parking links for my own use, below.  Almost every major media outlet in the world has gotten a hold of this story, and yet (through no fault of their own) most people in Saint Louis remain strangely unaware of this very serious situation, and the drama unfolding just a few miles from their homes.

My favorite links:

Calculate your distance from the landfill:  As the Crow Flies
(GPS address of the landfill site: 13570 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044)

Here’s a real time wind map; in the event of an evacuation, drive sideways to the wind:  Real Time Wind Map

12105760_1044106342300861_9104968689752184120_nThis one is particularly important:
– the emergency response network –
This is how you might be alerted should something happen at the landfill; text your zipcode to 888777, and get emergency text updates, in addition to frost warnings and siren tests. You should definitely sign up for it.
Ten Mile Radius Map – includes Clayton, Ladue, Chesterfield and Wash U, St. Peters, Florissant and Ferguson. Helen Caldicott, Nobel Prize Nominee and physician, says that nobody should live within 75 miles of a nuclear dump this size, even when it’s not on fire.
10 mile west lake landfill radius
Brushfire on 24-Oct-2015 located within a few feet of the rad waste:


The smoldering fire:  Around Easter 2016, the EPA came out with an announcement that new locations of radiation have been detected, and the fire was now “hundreds of feet” from the radioactive waste. The moms think it’s about 500 feet, some people think the fire is 300 feet, while others think the fire is already burning through the nuclear waste. At this point, Easter 2017, nobody knows where either the fire is burning nor the nuclear waste is buried, because the data is being destroyed and dark forces have been able to obfuscate the data from the monitoring devices, which were never installed properly in the first place, probably on purpose.  It’s all kind of creepy.

You can read the most recent and tedious EPA report here: EPA Region 7

Or watch this funny 2 minute video here: Cool Google Map

Here’s a 20 minute video that ties things together nicely: Ticking Time Bomb

Sample Map: Here’s a typical cancer cluster map from the “Just the Facts” Facebook Page. Turns out, this same Manhattan Project waste was secretly thrown in over 100 locations all over Saint Louis, mostly in a northern arc from Illinois to the airport to Weldon Springs, including Cold Water Creek.   Cold Water Creek runs past the airport; nuclear waste was stored in open air barrels at Latty Avenue near the airport for over 40 years, and radioactivity dribbled into the creek.  Residents  who live along the creek got a weird feeling when they went to a High School reunion, and noticed everyone was sick.
Moms on Facebook: As a result, some moms started putting pieces of the puzzle together on Facebook. One mom (Karen Nickel) started the “Just the Facts” Page about Cold Water Creek, and another mom (Dawn Chapman) started the Page about the West Lake Landfill. It’s all the same nuclear waste from the same uranium for the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII.  The many cases of weird cancers popping up in Saint Louis cannot be denied, and health studies and legislation will lag the health danger by decades. There is little if any hard science on chronic low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, and the statute of limitations to seek reparations is five years.  Watch for weird or rare pancreatic, brain, or appendix cancers. Also watch for anemia, cysts on the ovaries, and lupus. As an intimidation tactic, the moms have been subpoenaed by Republic Services for starting a Facebook Page, and required to produce hardcopy of every post equaling thousands of dollars. These are moms who live in three bedroom houses that share one small bathroom. The intimidation, the corruption and the media collusion are scarier than the actual nuclear fire. Nobody who knows what’s going on at the Westlake Landfill is surprised at all by what’s going on in world events right now.
Here are some links related to health:
West Lake Landfill Facebook Page: West Lake Landfill
Just the Facts: Cold Water Creek
Have your hair tested: Includes radioisotopes
Were you exposed? Join the Health Study
Report on Odor in the Log: Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Physician Faisal Khan: Director STL County Public Health
Just the Facts: About Cold Water Creek
* Down the Rabbit Hole *
Here’s where we fall down the rabbit hole, and it starts with trying to locate radiation detection monitors & a variety of data.
Radiation detection monitors – Looks like the EPA radiation detection monitor went silent in July 2015.  And then again March 2016. This is a monitor that is about 20 miles away from the landfill and located in South Saint Louis at 44 & Grand. Citizen scientists report that the detector was turned back on two days after the October EPA meeting. Lately it got turned off again. There seems to be a huge amount of confusion and controversy about the data, and where data comes from. The “War of Data” is now being turned into a “War On Data” and on Science.  Looks like radiation detection monitors are being turned off all over the country, which might have something to do with the on-going Fukushima disaster.  Good luck with your data hunt.
The Missouri DNR (Department of Natural Resources) is in charge of monitoring the air around the landfill and you can find their data here: http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/facilities/BridgetonSanitaryLandfill-RCP.htm.   As I understand it, “the moms” basically pitched a fit, and forced the DNR to do a proper job of monitoring the fire and the air around the landfill. Lately, the DNR has popped up and said “oops, our monitors are not sensitive enough, and we’ve had the wrong ones for the past two years”.  Again, data is hard to come by, and sometimes highly suspect.  The EPA doesn’t do their own testing, for example.  They get their data from Republic Services, who contracts testing with their vendor of choice. Remember, if there is no data, then there is “no evidence” of any kind of problem. If you watch for these two phrases, you’ll see them used a lot by the EPA and various politicians: no evidence and no imminent threat. Maybe it’s not an entirely bad thing that the EPA is being dismantled by the Trump Administration.
Here’s the Saint Louis EPA monitor:  EPA radnet
Nuclear Hotseat, about EPA monitors: Why do they turn them off?
The moms have one donated geiger counter: (NETC.com)
(The username is justmomsstl and the password is fusrap)
Another geiger here: RadCast.org
Another citizen science group: Radiation Network
SafeCast is a citizen monitoring group from Fukushima: http://blog.safecast.org/
Here’s where you can test your own air filters: RadTest4u filters
Cute YouTube explaining Geiger Counters: What’s a Geiger Counter?
EPA report Oct 2015: EPA Site
Air Monitoring – Here’s a data chart people are worried about, because of the thorium & uranium particles that have “somehow” escaped the landfill and made their way into nearby villages and fire station monitors.  It’s not that Saint Louis is going to get nuked, it’s rather citizens nearest the landfill have already been getting nuked for years. Thorium 230 is the signature fingerprint of the unique Belgian Congo uranium used in the Manhattan Project; it equals plutonium in toxicity and is 60,000x more times radioactive than uranium. This particular uranium is freakishly high in radioactivity, which is why it was picked to make the first nuclear bomb in the first place. Because it has a unique fingerprint, it’s easy to track.


About the Water – In a 2015 October meeting, EPA representatives confirmed radioactivity in the groundwater, traveling in a northwest direction, adding that it posed no threat to the drinking water supply. (They also said not to swim or fish in the river). Later, the groundwater under the landfill was named it’s own SuperFund site – OU3.  Contaminated groundwater is expected to meet the river in 57 years, and the starting point was 40 years ago, so the radioactivity will reach the river before today’s children graduate from high school.

Kay Drey, well known authority on Saint Louis nuclear waste, and the godmother of the environmentalist movement in Saint Louis, says not to drink the city water, which includes North Saint Louis.   And remember that leachate?  Unconfirmed Facebook posts trace a pipeline from the landfill across North Saint Louis to where it dumps into a creek near Charlack in North Saint Louis, where Ferguson is located. Other Facebook posts claim that leachate trucks are dumping landfill juice into the river at Earth City. You could write a whole book on the environmental justice aspect alone.  After initially being ridiculed, State Representative Maria Chappelle-Nadal  has made the WestLake Landfill her number one priority, and was able to muscle SB22 successfully through the Missouri Senate for a win.  Now the bill moves to the House.

Water Safety – There’s sort of a scramble among citizens to understand the drinking water, leachate and sewage situation right now, and the city water is most suspect. On March 4th, 2015 Green Spiral Tours took a learning group to the water treatment facility operated by Missouri American Water, and then again in March of 2016.  A tour of the drinking water facility with the “Moms” is scheduled for sometime in 2017.

2016 Best Photo

The facility we visited is the water intake and treatment facility at Hog Hollow, located upstream from the landfill. It is operated by Missouri American Water, the largest private water treatment company in America; this treatment serves the County and delivers about 80% of the area’s drinking water.

After the tour, twelve reasonably skeptical and reasonably informed citizens unanimously agreed that the Saint Louis County water supply seemed to be reasonably “safe”.

See the “Drinking Water Tour” blog under separate Green Spiral post, and watch for a Green Spiral tour of the city water facility soon.  On a positive note, in a worst case scenario, the City of Saint Louis has the capability to pull water from the river upstream from the landfill, as the city and county systems can swap water on the fly.  As a nature teacher, I would state our obvious moral responsibility not to contaminate the river for those living downstream, and well as a moral responsibility to life forms such as fishes, turtles and birds living in the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

Assorted links:

Green Spiral Drinking Water Tour post: Mostly Safe?

Radioactivity Report  http://www.amwater.com/ccr/STLSTC_rads.pdf

Pump Station Failure

Dec – Pump Station Failure Results: Where’s the data?

Saint Louis citizens as experiment? DOE Watershed Experiment 1993

Missouri American Water Test Results

Nuclear HotSeat podcast on West Lake Water Situation: 6-Jan-2016

Soil Study – Here’s a peer-reviewed science paper that came out in January 2016, and it looks like the soil is contaminated in a  4 square mile radius surrounding the landfill.  This is real science, and particularly damning information:
Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Journal 3-Jan-2016
This explains it in plain English:  The Examiner Dec 28, 2015
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity: Science Direct
Erin Brokovich & Lois Gibbs – People often say that Erin Brokovich should get involved. Well, Erin came to Saint Louis and was about to give a speech about the West Lake Landfill to raise awareness when the Mike Brown got shot in 2014.  Journalists told the moms that they only had room for “one story coming out of Saint Louis at a time”.  Erin Brokovich knows all about the nuclear fire in Saint Louis, and won’t come within 10 miles of it due to her asthma.  She often tweets about the West Lake Landfill to get the President’s attention. More importantly, Lois Gibbs, the “Mother of the SuperFund”, is heavily involved in the fight to clean up the nuclear waste. A UN Human Rights Violation Tribunal was held in January 2016, and Lois is helping the moms navigate their way around Washington DC. Both Erin and Lois have said that this is “the worst environmental disaster” they have ever seen, by far. It’s heart-breaking to attend community meetings and see people who are sick, dying, have dead children, can’t move, or have moved to the area only to watch their kids get sick, requiring them to quit work to take care for them, etc.; the people in Bridgeton are fundamentally sick, and stuck; through no fault of their own.
Here’s the Human Rights Violation Tribunal link: Human Rights Violation Tribunal
Here’s what Erin Brokovich says about Flint: We Are All Flint
Here’s CHEJ, the organization by Lois Gibbs:  Let’s Put the Super back in SuperFund!
Do Your Homework
What started out as a short list of purposeful links:
West Lake Landfill Facebook Page: West Lake Landfill
St. Louis Radioactive Waste Legacy: http://www.stlradwastelegacy.com/
The first Nuclear Hotseat* Podcast #227: Nuclear HotSeat – 30 mins
Just the Facts: About Cold Water Creek
20 minute video summary: Ticking Time Bomb
The ‘mother’ of all dirty bombs: West Lake and the Money
Nuclear Hotseat Debrief on Nuclear Symposium in Feb:  #244 Atoms Next Door
Missouri Coaliton for the Environment (MCE) Ed Smith*:  MCE Facebook
Rolling Stone article 2013*. Which outlines underlying problems
Something’s Burning: Earth Island Feb 2016
Attorney General Koster calls it a Chernobyl event: cbs news Sept 2015
Mother of SuperFund talks about poisoning children: Lois Gibbs 2016 jumival=16414#.V08xTCqrYPF.facebook
Bill Gates, Hiroshima & Ferguson: Seattle Newspaper April 2016
The Alvarez Paper*: Radioactive Legacy 2013
State of Missouri Emergency Plan: The plan to Shelter in Place
Names of Coalition to Keep Us Safe: Names of people
Escalation of the misinformation campaign: 15-Dec-2015 St. Louis Post Dispatch
Senator Roy Blunt Facebook Page: Senator Blunt
Senator Claire McCaskill Facebook Page: Senator McCaskill
Local print article by Veronique DiCapra: Saint Louis 20-Oct-2015
National NPR Radio by Veronique a week later*: National NPR Radio 3-Nov-2015 4 minutes

The LA Times Article in October: Officials Squabble

And here’s CBS but you really can’t figure out what’s going on: CBS 28-Oct-2015
Japan is watching us: 08-Oct-2015 Japan Times
So are the Koreans:  Dec 2015
Aljazeera’s got it: Weldon Springs and Kay Drey
The black folks get it: Saint Louis American 31-Oct-2015
The nuns on Channel 5: Franciscan Nuns of St. Mary
Russian Times: 31-Dec-2015 RT
Post Dispatch Editorial:Politics of Keeping Us Safe
The man behind the misinformation campaign: But You Don’t See Him
Media Literacy Lesson by Don Corrigan: Environmental Echo
Right to Answers when babies die: RFT 2001
Student YouTube Video: Forbidden Knowledge
Timeline of all Saint Louis Public Radio Posts: stlpublicradio
Funny but alarmist video about Nuclear Waste (4 Minute): Truth is Stranger than Fiction
Cold Water Creek Facts: Cold Water Creek Facts
No safe exposure to radiation: Union of Concerned Scientists
Toxic Legacy Map by the WSJ: Wall Street Journal Map Nov 2015
Toxic Waste will bring down kids’ grades: Bloomberg May 2016
Radiation doesn’t care if you are rich or poor: Missouri Pollution map 2016
Background information by citizen journalist: 1995 First Secret City
Infomercial for nukes by Post Dispatch: May 2016 STL Post Dispatch
Democracy Now and the Plutonium Files: Thank you Amy Goodman
Why nuclear waste should never be stored underground: Counter Punch
Caves, Sinkholes, Karst & Groundwater: The ecology of caves
Belgian Congo Uranium: UK Telegraph 4-Nov-2015
Manhattan Fallout: And Cold Water Creek
Alarmist, but hard to find anything untrue: A Green Road – Blog
Independent Technical Analysis: Beyond Landfilling
Fairewinds on censoring:  Arne and Maggie Gunderson
US secretly sprays own population at Pruitt-Igoe: 1950/1960 Secret Spraying
Two Moms Wage War on the Federal Gov’t: Vice June 2016
Citizen Journalism on corruption in STL: 2016 stlreporter
The hopeful legal Recall Clause* 4-Nov-2015 Examiner by Byron DeLear
Rabbi Susan Talve lights the Hanukkah candles: at the White House
Rabbi Talve Writes in Huffington Post: 2016-02 From Washington DC
The buried semi trucks: KSDK Jan 20137
Safe Side of the Fence Documentary: showing around the country
Missouri Coalition for the Environment**: Radioactive Landfill Fire Risks
WashU Students are involved: Student Life WashU
Garbage, Gangsters & Greed Video by New York Kids: 60 minute video by High Schoolers
EPA/ASTDR Air & Water Data: 16-October-2015
Easter Egg Hunt along Cold Water Creek: 2 minute YouTube
Nuclear Energy primer: A really stupid way to boil water
Who’s Who of anti-nuke activists: Beyond Nuclear
Casualties of War: Earth Island Feb 2016
Rolling Stone insight to Missouri Politics: No limits on campaign donations?
What Monsanto burned at West Lake in 1969: More Bad Stuff
Searchable database money in Missouri politics: StlToday 12-July-2016
Landfills and smoldering fires: Can’t put it out May 2016
PopVox is a civic engagement tool for tracking bills: PopVox
The Hill: Policy Blog
Assorted EPA Links:
About the new Facilitator: April 2016 The Examiner.com
EPA Region 7: Region 7 EPA
EPA Facebook: EPA Region 7 F
Whatever you do, don’t google: What’s Wrong with the EPA?
Aljazeera report on the EPA barrier: Too Little Too Late
Recent Washington Post: “Don’t Worry” says EPA
Buyout from SB22 in StLouisPost Dispatch: April 2017 St. Louis Post Dispatch

Take Action
Do Your Homework: Study the situation, and go to the meetings by the Community Action Group in Bridgeton. This thing is super complicated!  It takes about three levels of expertise to dig up technical documents, interpret them and then put them into layman’s terms so the average person can understand what’s going on. You really need someone to explain it to you.
Watch Twitter and the Facebook Pages: Journalists are on Twitter and Facebook and you can see them gathering information. You often get to find out what’s happening before it reaches the news outlets. The Facebook Page started by the moms is basically a giant learning community where citizens try to problem-solve their way out of danger.  To learn the most, rivet your attention to the  West Lake Landfill Facebook Page. Oh, and by the way, somebody on Facebook was censoring and removing posts from anti-nuclear activists, but I guess now that we’re overrun with Russian trolls and bots, I guess we’re no longer surprised.
Go see “First Secret City” and “Safe Side of the Fence”  These are excellent documentaries and it’s the fastest way to get up to speed quickly. If you can believe it, they used to dispose of nuclear waste by rolling tankers onto the airport tarmac at night, dumping the nuclear waste, and letting the airplane wheels roll it away the next day.  Nice, huh?
First Secret City:  September 14th at UMSL at 7 pm
Safe Side of the Fence: Facebook Page
Go to an education event: Maria Chappell-Nadal is holding educational events in North Saint Louis:  Maria Chappelle-Nadal Fb

Community Action Group:  A commUnity is organized around “the moms” and holds educational events about once every two weeks:

Monday, April 20 at 6:30 pmFacebook Invite

Tell your family and friends about the nuclear dump and fire at the #westlakelandfill.  Interestingly, I have found that people will take you more seriously…   …if you whisper.


Call legislators – Get on the JustMoms email list and follow the “call to action” where citizens call either the President, Governor, Senators, EPA or legislators in a coordinated fashion. If a legislator gets even five phone calls a day on any particular issue, that’s a big deal, so know that every call matters. JustMoms Email Sign Up

Senator Blunt:  (202) 224-5721
Blunt sits on important military and environmental committees. By the way, Roy’s son is a lobbyist for Exelon, a nuclear giant and one of the “responsible parties” that will bear a big portion of the clean up cost, should jurisdiction switch from the EPA to FUSRAP.  If you start poking around into which politicians get nuke money, and who their sons and wives work for, you probably won’t be surprised, or comforted.  Currently, there is a squabble about having enough money to remove the waste, and Blunt has a lot of say in those matters. Both Missouri Senators voted to decrease FUSRAP spending this year, and the FUSRAP budget is already laughably small. Again, not comforting. Blunt’s Chief of Staff for 6 years (Greg Hartley) left to join “Cloakroom Advisors”, a lobbying firm hired by Republic Services, which gave them $80k, probably to fight the FUSRAP legislation.

Thank Congressman Lacy Clay: 202-225-2406.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner:  She championed HR4100 and Bill Otto is running for her spot

Senator Claire McCaskill: 202-224-6154

Thank Senator McCaskill for pushing SB2306 through the Senate.  Claire has breast cancer.  Send her your wishes for wellness.

Tell Your Story:  The West Lake Landfill story is complicated and everyone interprets it   differently; in the end, you tell your story and do what’s best for you. This blog is my attempt to make sense of a situation that makes no sense, and alert the people in my sphere of influence to the potential danger.  The Moms started a Facebook Page to educate the community around them.  Some people write songs. Other people are investigative journalists. Young people produce videos, podcasts and info-graphics.  If you’re a screenwriter, contact me, I’ve got some interesting plot twists for the future movie. If you live in Saint Louis, find a way to engage that makes sense to you, for we have now inherited a world where “Polite People get Poisoned.”

In short: If you read and digest all the above links, it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that we are sitting on “a domestic dirty bomb” in Saint Louis —  and furthermore, the fuse is lit and the clock is ticking.  The stakes are high, the future is uncertain, and it’s basically a small band of moms with sick kids and no money, versus well-funded special interest groups who are intent on keeping the nuke waste in the ground.  The misinformation campaign even has a fake mom on twitter  (@mommentator).
Voodoo Tale:  At long last,  let me to leave you with this African voodoo tale about Madame Kipisee, who lives in the uranium hole left behind in the Belgian Congo.  She was cheated of her dark treasure rock by white men from the north, who robbed her blind in a bad deal.  Now she rouses from her slumber and seeks revenge by destroying the earth and all the earth’s children in a wanton rage that spares no living thing. We must put Madame Kipisee back to sleep in the ground, and not let her be cheated again. What goes around comes around, and the “Fat Man” we dropped on Hiroshima is coming back to haunt us, as a reminder that everything you do, always comes back to you.
The message and the messenger – So after a roller coaster of events, it’s now basically a race between public pressure, and the fire.  In the end, the nuke waste must be removed, nearby citizens must be evacuated, and the moms must claim victory for Saint Louis. (Not that escaping nuclear catastrophe is a “victory”).  The fate of Saint Louis is in the hands of the American Congress, and we’ll now see just how high, or how low, special interest money will go.  I am your messenger; take what resonates, and do with it what you will.  Below are “the moms”, who, along with many others, are making a valiant stand in the face of a nuclear fire, and to whom Saint Louis will owe a great future debt of gratitude.
The Moms

Dawn Chapman and Karen Nickel

“This is serious, it’s always been serious, and
we still have time to get FUSRAP to remove the radioactive waste.”
Dawn Chapman and Karen Nickel
Dawn Chapman is the administrator of the
West Lake Landfill Facebook Page
Karen Nickel is the administrator of
Just the Facts, about Cold Water Creek

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About Me:

While I am primarily a mother,

I also ride horses, motorcycles & mountain bikes,

ski out of bounds,

walk through questionable parts of town at night,

scuba dive with sharks, walk on train bridges,

and run a family adventure school

with kids climbing trees and poking each other with sticks.

I feel I am good at calculating risk.

The situation is serious

and people need to sit up and pay attention.