West Lake Activist Reacts To Pruitt's Resignation

Dawn Chapman: "It has every opportunity to be a terrible thing for us."

Brett Blume
July 05, 2018 - 4:14 pm
Bridgeton landfill, West Lake landfill in distance. Taken Oct. 2015

(Kevin Killeen/KMOX)


ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - A local woman who's helped spearhead the fight to clean up a radioactive waste site in north St. Louis County is reacting to the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Dawn Chapman with the group "Just Moms" tells KMOX that the West Lake landfill issue is extremely complex.

Kevin Killeen/KMOX

"When you're talking about somebody that has knowledge, detailed knowledge, of the site -- whoever takes his place has to start from scratch," she said.

Chapman pointed out that the end of July will mark 45 years since radioactive waste has been sitting, untouched, on the surface of the West Lake landfill.

"It's more work for this community," she says of the change at the top of the EPA. "Frankly we're really tired of advocating for something so obviously needed at this site. (The EPA) has reassured us time and time again that our site's going to get cleaned up, we're going to have a 'robust' clean up, and that the administration backs it. So he's not there any more, I would assume that whoever replaces him would carry on. They better."

She's trying to keep up hope that the EPA will live up to its promises to start the clean-up at West Lake, but Pruitt's departure is testing her resolve.

"(Pruitt leaving) has every opportunity to be a terrible thing for us," Chapman says.