The U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-MO, appeared on the Tim Jones and Chris Arps radio show. He discussed a variety of local, national, and international issues during his interview. He discussed a topic that was important to me, as it was a personal issue: the contamination of Cold Water Creek by radioactivity during the Manhattan Project. Coldwater Creek ran right through my childhood subdivision in North St. Louis County.
Senator Hawley sponsored legislation to create a fund that will help victims of contamination by radioactivity in North St. Louis County. St. Louis was a key player in the Manhattan Project. This is depicted by the summer blockbuster film Oppenheimer. This project’s legacy is still felt in the area, and Senator Hawley’s bill addresses the painful history of this project and its impact on St. Louis.
His proposed legislation outlines an extensive plan to clean up the radiation-contaminated area and to provide financial aid to the affected families. The contamination’s effects on Hazelwood Elementary School are one of the most heartbreaking consequences. In 2022, radioactive material was found in the playground and cafeteria of the Hazelwood School District, as well as near the creek. This exposed children to health risks.
My father is one of the many people I am aware of who has died from pancreatic cancer. I have also known of friends and acquaintances that have fought rare cancers or autoimmune diseases. What is the common denominator between them? All of us lived in North County, near or by Coldwater Creek. Cold Water Creek was not the only place in America to have been contaminated with hazardous and radioactive waste. There have been many instances across the country where similar areas were successfully cleaned up. This eased the worries of the affected residents.
The dedication of Senator Hawley to this cause deserves praise. This bipartisan legislation is an opportunity to bring together political differences and give the families affected the financial assistance they deserve. Cold Water Creek’s residents have been living under the shadow of radioactive waste that was dumped there during the Manhattan Project for too long. A solution to the contamination of the creek is possible. The House of Representatives must now rise above their political differences and quickly pass this important bill, and send it promptly to President Biden.