US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Core Sampling Phase of Engineering Survey to Begin Week of Jan. 13 at West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.


Lenexa, Kan. -- Contractors working under the oversight of EPA Region 7 will begin a new core sampling phase of an engineering survey during the week of January 13 at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.

The survey will examine the area between Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill and West Lake Landfill to locate radiologically-impacted material that may be present and identify the location for future construction of an isolation barrier that will separate the two landfills.

This new phase of the survey will involve the use of sonic drilling equipment to penetrate the surface of the landfill and collect core samples of underground material. The work is being done under EPA oversight by contractors hired by the potentially responsible parties at the Superfund site

'Persons who remain outside the fenced boundaries of the Superfund site will not experience any harmful exposures to radiation as a result of this survey activity,' EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said.

A previous phase of the survey, involving Gamma Cone Penetrometer Testing (GCPT), which drove a probe and sensor into the surface at various locations to screen for radiation, was completed in December.

The new sonic drilling and coring activity will occur in the area accessed during the GCPT probing phase of the survey. During this phase, samples of underground material will be brought to the surface of the site under tightly controlled conditions for radiation field screening and off-site lab testing. All handling of core samples at the site will occur inside a mobile enclosed protective structure.

EPA anticipates that the sonic drilling and coring activity will continue at the site until late February or early March. Results of this activity will be shared with the public when the quality-assured data becomes available.

An on-site radiation safety officer will continue to determine the appropriate personal protective equipment that workers will wear while engaged in this survey. The radiation safety officer will monitor all phases of work and adjust the required protective equipment as dictated by field conditions. If elevated radiation readings are found, workers will be notified and directed to adjust their activities accordingly.

Air monitoring of the West Lake Landfill Site, conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under direction of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, will continue. No monitoring results to date indicate elevated radiation levels, further ensuring the health and safety of people living and working in the area near the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills.

Soil cores may be drilled to a depth of up to 80 feet in some locations of the survey area. All material brought to the surface will be screened for radiation and stored on site in secured containers until it is either ready for shipment to a laboratory for testing, or deemed ready for safe and proper disposal at an off-site facility to be identified.

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