The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday it will excavate and remove radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill, a superfund site in Bridgeton, Mo., outside of St. Louis. The radioactive material at the site was from the Manhattan Project, which developed the nuclear bomb during World War II.
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“Discovered in 1970, listed on the [Superfund] National Priority List in 1990, 27 years, when I came to this position the agency still had not made a decision on how to clean it up, not clean it up, just make a decision on how to do that,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney during an interview on “Varney & Co.” on Thursday.
Pruitt said he made it a priority when he took the helm at the EPA.
“We’re getting accountability. The radioactive material’s going to be taken away and the people are going to be protected,” he said.
The cleanup is expected to be completed in under five years.
“We have a responsible party in this instance, Republic [Services], that is responsible for cleanup, $236 million, less than five years,” Pruitt explained.
According to Pruitt, the agency had moved away from its original focus in recent years.
“The agency the last several years has used regulatory power to weaponize against certain sectors of our economy as opposed to doing things like this, cleaning up a superfund site in St. Louis, Mo.” he said.
Under Pruitt, the agency is now shifting back to its original objectives.
“We’re getting back to the basics, the core mission of the agency, protecting the health and environment of our citizens and not allowing the agency to be used in a weaponized way to impact parts of our economy,” the EPA chief said.