Not many people today are worried about nuclear fallout. Recently however, you may have heard or read about the Bridgeton Landfill fire and how it is getting dangerously close to the adjacent West Lake landfill, which contains approximately 9,000 tons of illegally dumped nuclear waste.
No, you didn’t read that wrong.
The Bridgeton Landfill is a Superfund Site. These sites were established in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), a United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances as well as broadly defined “pollutants or contaminants.”
Using a Hazard Ranking System, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines which sites are a priority, making them eligible for long-term remedial action (i.e., cleanup) under the Superfund program. The Bridgeton Landfill, for example, is a National Priorities List (NPL) site.
Community Commons offers a comprehensive data set of Superfund sites across the country and the sheer amount of sites alone may be surprising to some. You can find additional data in the map room by searching the term ‘hazardous’ in the ‘Add Data’ window.
The next map layer displays the locations of facilities from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Radiation Information Database (RADInfo). In this map, you’ll find data about all facilities regulated by by the EPA for radiation and radioactivity, a national program which tracks the management of over 650 toxic chemicals that pose a threat to human health and the environment.