BRIDGETON, Mo. – EPA officials have expanded testing near the West Lake Landfill and Missouri River as an ongoing investigation aims to determine if contaminated groundwater from the landfill was discharged into the river.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to install new groundwater monitoring wells around the Missouri River and Earth City, a decision it first announced to community members last month.

An EPA spokesperson tells FOX 2 this follows a period of testing in which other offsite wells monitored near the landfill detected radium slightly above normal drinking water levels.

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The EPA says field activities associated with a remedial investigation of West Lake Landfill began in 2020. Various findings have been been tracked through an online West Lake Landfill Dashboard. “To date, no conclusions have been made about the source(s) of the radium in offsite groundwater because data collection is ongoing,” said the EPA spokesperson.

The agency will install more off-site monitoring wells for Operable Unit 3. “The potential for impacted groundwater from the West Lake Landfill to discharge to the Missouri River will be evaluated in the OU-3 Remedial Investigation Report,” said the spokesperson.

Concerns of radioactive contamination in the St. Louis region have had garnered national attention over the last few years. A report surfaced last year suggesting that the federal government downplayed and failed to fully investigate the risks of nuclear waste contamination that stemmed from the Manhattan Project in St. Louis County.

Around 1973, some amount of radioactive waste and radioactive contaminated soil was dumped into the West Lake Landfill. The landfill is now an EPA Superfund site subject to cleanup, and there are also documented impacts of radioactive contamination at Jana Elementary School in north St. Louis County, Coldwater Creek through multiple municipalities, and a former uranium plant site in Weldon Spring.

As for the landfill, in addition to the initial findings of radium detected in off-site wells, the EPA says that concentrations of volatile organic compound 1,4-Dioxane exceeded its regional screening level in offsite groundwater, which also prompted more testing.

The exact timeline for the EPA to release a remedial investigation report is unclear, but the spokesperson says it will happen once the agency has all the data necessary to thoroughly evaluate the source of contaminants.