In 2013 and 2014, I began to do more research and decided to file SCR 11and
SCR 23. I sponsored these resolutions to encourage Congress to transfer authority for the remediation of the West Lake Landfill radioactive wastes from the EPA to the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP).
While it took three (3!) years for our congressional delegation to move on this very critical issue, I am grateful that Bridgeton and Maryland Heights residents finally get some resolution and attention from Congress.
In my research, I have found only two congressional leaders who stood out on this effort to raise awareness and advocacy, historically – U.S. Senator Kit Bond and Congressmen Beuchner. It is true, there are too few people who actually care to mention their knowledge of radioactive contamination. But, I believe we are morally obligated to talk about this issue beyond exhaustion.
In my experience, silence is violence. Unfortunately, radioactive waste migrates very easily through naturally occurring events, such as tornadoes, earthquakes and torrential rains. The stories I hear are very hard to carry without having your heart sink. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to dedicate most of my time to raising awareness of this important issue.
The narratives I have heard include a 16-year-old who died due to testicular cancer. There are a number of people that have gotten and died from brain tumors or have become victim to a number of autoimmune diseases. This is a healthcare crisis we are dealing with, and it has existed for a very long time. There are women who have had multiple miscarriages or are altogether unable to have children. Hundreds of people who have had multiple cancers, some who have had breast cancer multiple times. The stories of people that have lost their entire livelihoods through no fault of their own is overwhelmingly tragic.