Heaven Can’t Wait – St. Louis Magazine

A lengthy read, but worth sharing: Heaven Can’t Wait – St. Louis Magazine.

“Unless you dug it up and ate it, it’s not going to be a big threat.” said a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Coldwater Creek (illustrated by Vidhya Nagarajan)
Illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

This is something I’ve been following a bit since I grew up near Coldwater Creek. I didn’t dig up dirt and eat it, nor did I actually play in the creek, but neither did countless others who are suffering illnesses (some rare) or have already died from them. When “cancer clusters” pop up on a map, isn’t that alarming?

The waste is the byproduct of the top-secret Manhattan Project, wherein the military contracted with companies to enrich uranium for the world’s first controlled nuclear chain reaction in 1942. One of those companies was Mallinckrodt Chemical Works of St. Louis.

Long story short, much of the waste—known as “poisons” back then—made its way to two gigantic piles at the airport. From there, it seeped and blew its way into Coldwater Creek, a beautiful tributary that winds through about 15 miles of the county, traveling through communities such as Florissant, Hazelwood, Black Jack, Spanish Lake, St. Ann, Berkeley, and Ferguson.

If you have a little time, read the entire article. If you don’t have time, read the first half and the last paragraph. Share the story. Press your thumbs in the government’s back. People want answers. Does Erin Brockovich come to mind? Yep! She has visited St. Louis about the issue.

Landfill issues draw interest of Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich’s Firm to visit West Lake Landfill, Will It Help?


Illustration credit: Vidhya Nagarajan

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