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EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Establish Interagency Agreement for Work on West Lake Landfill’s Isolation Barrier

Release Date: 04/17/2014
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394,

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., April 17, 2014) - EPA Region 7 and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have established an interagency agreement outlining four tasks under which the Corps will provide assistance to EPA as the Agency oversees the approaching construction of an isolation barrier at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.

As outlined in the agreement, which became effective April 15, 2014, those four tasks include providing technical assistance services, design review services, pre-construction and construction observation, and community relations support.

“EPA could not have a better partner than the Corps for this important project,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The Corps brings to the table its proven expertise in handling major engineering projects to address challenging situations in effective and timely ways.”

Under an order from the Missouri Attorney General, Republic Services, Inc., is required to install a barrier between the North Quarry Cell of Bridgeton Landfill and Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) of the West Lake Landfill. The purpose of the barrier is to prevent a subsurface smoldering event in Bridgeton Landfill’s South Quarry Cell from making contact with radiologically impacted materials detected below the surface, in and near OU-1.

Because the isolation barrier will be placed on the West Lake Landfill portion of the site, EPA will be the lead agency to oversee its construction. Under the interagency agreement, EPA will receive assistance in its oversight role from the Corps, while actual construction of the barrier will be performed by a contractor hired by the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs). EPA will seek to recover from the PRPs its costs of engaging the Corps.

A closer look at some of the isolation barrier activities under which the Corps will assist EPA:

  • Technical Assistance - Efforts related to technical assistance and project initiation, management and support, including reviewing and commenting on various documents, reports and data; participation in discussions and negotiations; coordination of staffing and support activities; tracking and monitoring of costs and performance; and accommodation of external audits or reviews that EPA may require.
  • Design Review - Includes providing reviews and comments on plans and preparations submitted at various stages of the project by the PRPs, including design plans and work plans, such as a waste handling and disposal plan, water management plan, and health and safety plan.
  • Pre-Construction and Construction Observation - Includes daily observation of pre-construction and construction activities, and reporting on those activities to EPA on a daily basis. Reported observations will cover the adequacy of preparations, compliance with applicable plans, sequencing of operations, and any activities that may impact the effectiveness of the isolation barrier.
  • Community Relations Support - Corps staff will attend and participate in Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings, and other public meetings and public availability sessions, as requested by EPA. Corps staff will assist EPA in explaining tasks and evaluations performed by the Corps.
Executing this interagency agreement for isolation barrier design and construction support is the EPA’s first step in bringing the Corps’ technical expertise to the West Lake site. EPA is currently in discussions with the Corps regarding additional document reviews and support efforts that extend beyond the isolation barrier tasks.

A copy of the interagency agreement is available online at: (14 pp., 1.75MB, About PDF).

EPA has completed a legal order directing Republic Services to conduct pre-construction activities for the isolation barrier, such as site clearing and preparation, and staging of equipment.

A copy of the pre-construction order is available online at: (36 pp., 6.25MB, About PDF).

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