24 février 2012
Le compteur s’est déclenché près d’une clôture qui entoure une fosse de déchets radioactifs de Coldwater Creek à proximité de l’aéroport international de Saint-Louis.
Le conseil du comté de St. Louis exhorte au nettoyage accéléré de Coldwater Creek et, avec le département de la santé, appelle à l’étude des maladies sur le périmètre suite à un taux élevé de cancers chez les riverains du site.
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Army Corps finds ’low-level’ radioactive contamination in two parks along Coldwater Creek
June 24, 2015 9:00 pm • By Jacob Barker
Coldwater CreekA warning sign hangs Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, on a fence that surrounds a pit of radioactive material at the St. Louis Airport Site on the north side of Lambert St. Louis International Airport and just off James S. McDonnell Boulevard. The area abuts Coldwater Creek, which runs north from the airport through north St. Louis County into the Missouri River. Photo By David Carson email@example.com
A warning sign hangs Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, on a fence that surrounds a pit of radioactive material at the St. Louis Airport Site on the north side of Lambert St. Louis International Airport and just off James S. McDonnell Boulevard. The area abuts Coldwater Creek, which runs north from the airport through north St. Louis County into the Missouri River. Photo By David Carson firstname.lastname@example.org
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HAZELWOOD • The Army Corps of Engineers has found radiological contamination at three sites along Coldwater Creek, including two municipal parks and property owned by the St. Louis Archdiocese.
About one-third of an acre of St. Cin Park, a portion of Duchesne Park and some Archdiocese property adjacent to St. Ferdinand Cemetery all have what the Corps referred to as “low-level” radiological contamination. The contamination was found as part of an ongoing Corps program to clean up leftover waste from the country’s early nuclear weapons program, which obtained much of its refined uranium from Mallinckrodt in the St. Louis area.
The Corps hopes to clean up the parks over the next four months, but stressed the waste is buried under several inches of soil and does not present an “immediate threat to public health.”
“Unless you dug it up and ate it, it’s not going to be a big threat,” said Corps spokesman Mike Petersen.
Dozens of residents jammed a hearing room at the Hazelwood Civic Center on Dunn Road Wednesday to get updates from the Corps on the latest site slated for cleanup in North County.
“I’m not surprised but I’m a little taken aback by what I’m seeing tonight because there are still kids playing in that park,” said Karen Nickel, who grew up in the neighborhood and played in the creek and the parks as a child.
The contamination in Coldwater Creek stems from nuclear waste stored at a site near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and a site near Latty Avenue. The Corps has spent more than 15 years cleaning those up, and it is still finishing cleanup on Mallinckrodt’s former uranium processing factory downtown.
Residents who grew up near the creek say there have been an uncanny number of cancers throughout the area. The Corps plans to move downstream, testing Coldwater Creek and its adjacent 10-year floodplain (where there’s a 10 percent chance of a flood each year) until they reach the Missouri River. The work there and at other sites should stretch at least until the end of the decade.
Jenell Wright, who sits on a panel overseeing the cleanup, said the Corps should also be testing in neighborhoods where high incidences of cancer have been reported. She noted soil from the floodplain was moved throughout the mid-20th century as builders developed the area.
But that kind of work would require more funding from Washington and a broader project authorization. “They need to be given whatever it takes to complete this job,” Wright said.
Meanwhile, St. Louis County plans to begin a health survey later this year looking at cancers among people who lived in the neighborhoods near Coldwater Creek during the ’70s and ’80s. That study should begin by November and take around 18 months, said St. Louis County Health Department Director Faisal Khan, who came to the meeting and spoke with residents.