Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Bruno Pigott, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Senator Hawley called on the EPA to immediately clean up the radioactive contamination at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.
"It’s probably no coincidence that the folks who live in this area are not big-time donors to political parties, they’re not big-time party activists, these are working people and they have been taken advantage of for years. And the government, for years, has just expected them to live with it…,” said Senator Hawley. “This has got to stop, and we need the EPA to clean this site up.”
Watch the full exchange here or below.
Senator Hawley has consistently advocated on behalf of the Coldwater Creek community and all Missourians impacted by government-caused nuclear contamination. Most recently, Senator Hawley secured President Biden's endorsement of his legislation to compensate victims of nuclear radiation exposure.
On July 27, 2023, in a strong bipartisan vote, Senator Hawley secured passage of an amendment to the FY 2024 NDAA that would provide compensation to victims of government-caused nuclear contamination. The legislation extends the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to cover victims of improperly-stored nuclear waste in affected areas in the St. Louis region. The measure—which was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.)—also reauthorized and strengthened the RECA program to cover more impacted Americans from nuclear tests along with uranium miners.
Earlier in July, Senator Hawley sent a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE), urging additional testing for radioactive contamination at a site in St. Charles County, Mo., after a review of the Weldon Spring site in 2021 offered an extensive critique of the DOE's cleanup and monitoring efforts there. Senator Hawley also sent a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) urging him to convene a committee hearing to discuss the government-caused nuclear contamination of the St. Louis area. In addition, Senator Hawley penned separate letters to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), DOE, and EPA, demanding answers from the government about the nuclear contamination.
In April, Senator Hawley's legislation mandating the clean up of Jana Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District and radioactive waste testing passed the U.S. Senate and Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also vowed to support it.
Earlier in the year, Senator Hawley delivered remarks on the Senate floor, called out the Biden Administration for its lack of action, and pushed the DOE for answers on the radioactive waste found at the school. Senator Hawley also worked with Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Mo.) to send a letter to USACE, calling for additional radioactive testing of the Hazelwood School District properties after demanding last October that USACE conduct radioactive testing at Jana Elementary in light of reported contamination. Following the initial reporting, Senator Hawley called on President Biden to declare a federal emergency and make aid available for impacted students and families.