Bridgeton Landfill: "Dirty Bomb" Radioactive Hazards or Irresponsible Activist Speculation?
Republic Services says that the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the heat being generated from the Bridgeton Landfill doesn't affect or pose a risk to the West Lake Landfill.
Tim Trost, the area president for Republic Services, sent out this first statement about activists' claims:
We are concerned by the actions of those who are trying to link the odor and the material decomposing at Bridgeton Landfill with the low level radioactive material at West Lake Landfill. They are purposely and irresponsibly scaring residents with their speculation. The EPA now needs to release its information and end this speculation once and for all.
Both the activists and Republic Services are highlighting the fact that the EPA recently conducted a flyover of the site -- with the company urging those results to be sent out as soon as possible to clear up confusion.
An EPA official tells Daily RFT that there was some sort of testing but that these results aren't available yet -- and adds that EPA has no further comment on the dispute (in part, because the agency was not even aware that there was an event on Friday organized by the activist groups related to this stie).
After the first press release criticizing groups for irresponsible speculation, Republic Services sent out a more harsh rebuttal that points out that one of the groups' "experts" is not a scientist, but rather an economist.
Trost, in the second news release, offers this dramatic quote:
It is often said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Bridgeton residents and community leaders must wonder what war they have been dragged in to when Peter Anderson, the Executive Director of the Center for a Competitive Waste Industry, claimed earlier today that conditions at Bridgeton Landfill could lead to a 'dirty bomb.'...
It's clear that these so-called experts aren't thinking about the people who live and work near this landfill when they make these outrageous claims. The people in this part of the county deserve the truth not this type of fear-mongering.
Anderson was one of the speakers; his arguments are outlined in the full news release from the coalition on view below.
Anne Marie Moy, a local spokeswoman for Republic Services, tells Daily RFT, "We are encouraging the EPA to release information as soon as possible so that we can stop the spread of misinformation and speculation that's causing a lot of unrest among the residents and people that work in the area."
But Smith says it is the company that is spreading lies: "Republic says that everything is fine and dandy. That is premature at best and seems to be [intentional] misinformation...at worst."
Continue for relevant documents in this debate and full statements from both parties.