Parson’s office on Tuesday said it recommended that about $225,000 be included in a 2025 budget request by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has requested additional funding in the 2024 budget to help the Missouri Department of Natural Resources investigate potentially cancer-causing contaminants originating from several radioactive waste sites throughout the St. Louis area.
Parson’s office on Tuesday said it recommended that about $225,000 be included in a 2025 budget request by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The funds would be in addition to general revenue funding to help pay for radioactive waste investigations throughout the St. Louis area.
Several sites remain affected by the unsafe environmental practices resulting from the Manhattan Project and the former nuclear program during World War II.
Editor’s note: The above-related video was originally broadcast on Dec. 8, 2024.
If approved by the Missouri General Assembly, Parson’s office said the funds would be provided to the department for “the purpose of investigating concerns of exposure to radioactive waste by request of a local governing body. The department is anticipated to receive requests for investigations of various locations, potentially throughout the state.”
The department outlined why it needed the funding and highlighted the community concerns regarding the handling of radioactive waste thus far.
The funding request stated that due to increased public interest in radioactive contamination in the St. Louis area, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources expects to receive additional requests for investigations of various locations. The current Hazardous Waste Fund would not be able to fund the vast majority of those requests while also supporting its current workload, the request claimed.
The department also said that due to the projected incomplete utilization of the Hazardous Waste Fund by 2027, the transfer of funds from it to the Radioactive Waste Investigation Fund should be allowed.
The department said in the request that funding provided by general revenue and the Radioactive Waste Investigation Fund would cover the total cost of each site investigation, which would ensure oversight and productivity at each site.
For months, Jana Elementary School has been in the spotlight after conflicting reports regarding radioactive pollution at the school. At its root is nearby Coldwater Creek, which was contaminated for years by improperly stored nuclear waste.
Atomic waste was also illegally dumped in the Bridgeton Landfill, which sits inside the West Lake Landfill site off St. Charles Rock Road. It was a dumpsite for radioactive material following WWII, and in 2010, a fire broke out underground not far from that dump site that is still burning.
The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been involved in the cleanup and removal of contaminants, but much controversy has surrounded their efforts.