Congresswoman Bush Meets with Secretary Granholm, Advocates, Community Leaders to Discuss Manhattan Project Waste and Clean Up Efforts
(August 8, 2023) Pictured above is Congresswoman Cori Bush (right) and Secretary Jennifer Granholm (left) meeting to share community concerns about the radioactive waste in St. Louis, and how the Department of Energy can assist in the clean-up.
St. Louis, Mo. (Aug. 8, 2023) — Today, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) met one-on-one with Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at the Weldon Spring Site Interpretative Center to discuss radioactive waste across St. Louis left decades ago by the Manhattan Project. This meeting comes after Congresswoman Bush convened a meeting last night with community leaders, advocates, and local elected officials to hear their concerns directly regarding the radioactive waste, its impacts on their health and safety, and specifically to gather feedback and desired actions they would like to see taken by the Department of Energy.
“I have always believed that to be a successful leader in your community, you must lead with your community,” said Congresswoman Bush. “I am grateful for our community leaders and advocates for coming together last night to share feedback and solutions on how we clean up the radioactive waste in our community, and I appreciate Secretary Granholm taking the time to meet with me to hear our concerns and requests laid out by the community. This conversation marks an inflection point in a positive partnership, and I believe that, together, we will work with the community to ensure the federal government cleans up its waste, restores trust, and ensures our neighborhoods are safer and healthier.”
After meeting one-on-one, Congresswoman Bush and Secretary Granholm were joined by USACE District Engineer & Commander Col. Andy J. Pannier and FUSRAP engineers to discuss solutions to expediting the cleanup process and interagency cooperation.
(August 7, 2023) Pictured above is Congresswoman Cori Bush (center) surrounded by advocates, community leaders and elected officials posing for a picture after meeting to discuss what feedback and requests Congresswoman Bush could take to the Department of Energy regarding the radioactive waste in St. Louis.
Since being sworn in 2021, Congresswoman Bush has introduced several pieces of legislation to address nuclear contamination and spoken up about these issues in Committee hearings and meetings with Biden Administration officials. Most recently, Congresswoman Bush is working with advocates and lawmakers to bring forward more legislative solutions, including leveraging her position as the Ranking Member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs to seek solutions, accountability, and redress for residents impacted by radioactive waste in St. Louis. Since even before coming to Congress, Congresswoman Bush has been advocating for the cleanup of Coldwater Creek. Examples of some legislative actions that Congresswoman Bush has put forward, include:
- Last month, Congresswoman Bush introduced amendments to the House NDAA Fiscal Year 2024, which would:
- Amendment 1042: This amendment would require the Department of Energy to conduct a thorough review of Manhattan Project site environmental remediation efforts and maintain a public database; provide a strategic health monitoring plan for impacted communities; and analyze how natural disasters impact the prevalence of toxic chemicals.
- Amendment 1181: The Justice for Jana Elementary Act which would require the cleanup of Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri located in the Congresswoman’s district and establishes a Radioactive School Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to local educational agencies that have been financially impacted by the presence of radioactive contaminants stemming from U.S. atomic energy activities.
- In April 2023, Congresswoman Bush partnered with Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Justice for Jana Elementary Act of 2023, which would require the cleanup of Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri located in the Congresswoman’s district.
- In June 2022, initiated a federal review with the Government Accountability Office for the cleanup of radioactive contamination of Coldwater Creek in St. Louis County.
- In May 2022, Congresswoman Bush introduced the Coldwater Creek Signage Act which would require signage to be posted along Coldwater Creek informing residents of the dangers of radioactive waste exposure.
- Congresswoman Bush voted in favor of H.R. 3967, the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act or Honoring Our PACT Act, which will finally treat toxic exposure as a cost of war by addressing the full range of issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans, including access to earned benefits and health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Included in the PACT Act’s final text were four of Congresswoman Bush’s amendments:
- Amendment 32: This amendment would require that veterans who worked or spent time near the Manhattan Project in St. Louis be studied to determine the impacts of toxic exposure on their health.
- Amendment 22: This amendment would require the Department of Defense to look back and review all known cases of toxic exposure on their military bases not only here in America, but also abroad.
- Amendment 17: This amendment would incorporate race and ethnicity as demographic options in a study on the rate of cancer in veterans.
- Amendment 18: This amendment would include a variety of external factors to be considered in a medical study on all veterans serving after September 11, 2001. Those factors include race, age, period of service, military occupation, gender and disability status.
- In July 2021, Congresswoman Bush passed an amendment to H.R. 3684 – the INVEST in America Act. The amendment would require the EPA Administrator to undertake a review of current and ongoing efforts to remediate radiological contamination at Coldwater Creek and to post public signage to prevent exposure risks for residents in the surrounding areas. The Congresswoman worked with activists, community members, and organizations including Just Moms STL, to introduce the amendment.