KSDK-TV’s Leisa Zigman shared a series of investigative reports this week about cancer clusters many believe stem from piles of radioactive waste being dumped in the St. Louis area decades ago.
Zigman’s first report for the NBC affiliate (above) highlighted a cancer cluster map of St. Louis and spotlighted dumping near St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport and toxic runoff into nearby Coldwater Creek.
Her second report (below) focused on the Westlake Landfill, where a reported 8,000 tons of radioactive waste was allowed to be dumped in a flood plain, close to public water sources and without any barriers or other protective measures installed.
Zigman’s reports dovetail nicely with an exclusive story I broke 54 weeks ago about a controversial report about cancer rates among people living in the vicinity of the Department of Energy’s Weldon Spring Site in St. Charles County, Mo. The site had been placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1987 because of the potential for groundwater contamination to adversely affect a drinking water well field less than a mile away that served 60,000 users in the area.
Among my reports, I predicted that radiation exposure-related lawsuits were on the horizon after attending a meeting in St. Louis during which a gaggle of New York City personal-injury lawyers were hunting for potential clients.
In addition, I reported on how I had reached the conclusion that several Missouri state legislators seemed less interested in cancer dangers affecting people in their districts than they were in passing measures having to do with jumping jacks and butterflies.
Finally, after investigating similarities between the Weldon Spring Site and a “sister” site in Ohio, I used a headline to ask the question, Do Residents Living Near Weldon Spring Site Deserve Compensation for Radiation Exposure?
Now that KSDK-TV has entered the fray by reporting on this topic, I expect more questions — and more reports — will follow. Stay tuned!
UPDATE 2/7/2013 at 8:38 p.m. Central: Apparently, a handful of Missouri state legislators — including one mentioned in my post March 26, 2012 — paid attention to the KSDK-TV report and decided to unveil some of what Culture Vigilante Lisa Payne-Naeger calls “Yankee Doodle Legislation” requesting the U.S. Congress transfer authority for the remediation of the West Lake Landfill from the EPA to the Corps of Engineers’ FUSRAP project with the urgent, related request that the wastes be excavated from the Missouri River flood plain and be transported to a licensed radioactive waste facility, away from water and away from people. It’s a start, I guess.