"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

State Rep: “Westlake Protesters Harming Buyout Effort, Not Helping It.”

May 9th, 2017 by mopns_admin · No Comments

Protesters block two entraces at West Lake Landfill
As the 2017 legislative session winds down this week, the usual flurry of activity to get bills passed has begun in earnest. SB22, legislation sponsored by controversial St. Louis Senator Marie Chappelle Nadal to buy out homes near a contaminated landfill seems to have stalled. Senator Chappelle Nadal originally secured $3 million out the $12 million she requested for the buyout and now its down to $1 million. Our sources say, besides the fact money is tight in this years budget, professional environmental activists or agitators with the Earth’s Defense Coalition have left a sour taste in the mouths of many legislators. One St. Louis area legislator told us, “Look I’m sensitive to the concerns of these homeowners, I once lived near a contaminated sight myself but these outside groups disrupting a private business for publicity doesn’t sit well with me quite frankly. They need to go home and let the adults in the room solve this pressing problem.”

Missouri Times:

The funds going towards Chappelle-Nadal’s project have withered away during the budget process. Her initial version of the Hazardous Waste Home Acquisition Program called for $12.5 million for buyouts in Spanish Lake. Then, that number fell to a $3 million line item in the budget. After conference, it turned into just $1 million. While the Senate deliberated over the HB 6 – the Department of Natural Resources budget bill that contains the West Lake line item, Chappelle-Nadal spoke for roughly half an hour, visibly upset.

“In this particular case, we’re picking and choosing who lives and who dies,” she said, House Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick acknowledged Chappelle-Nadal had worked passionately on the issue, but in a year where $500 million had been cut from the budget and pennies were pinched, getting anything for a new line item was a win in itself. “But at the end of the day, I’m hoping she can be happy,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s hard for me to understand how somebody can be upset that their unprecedented appropriation is not big enough. We’ve never really done anything like it before.” Read more…

Related:

K.C. Star: Help for St. Louis-area homeowners near radioactive landfill gets sliced again

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