Coldwater Creek to finally have warning signs after decades of nuclear contamination

By Allison Kite

More than 70 years after workers first realized barrels of radioactive waste risked contaminating Coldwater Creek, the federal government has started work to put up signs warning residents.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement last month that it was working with the Environmental Protection Agency to add signs along the creek to help it monitor areas “that may pose a risk if disturbed.”

Coldwater Creek has been contaminated for decades with radioactive waste left over from the World War II-era effort to build an atomic bomb. 

But though the creek winds through some of St. Louis’ busiest suburbs and past public parks and schools, the federal government had resisted calls to post signs warning visitors of the contamination.

Coldwater Creek runs by the St. Louis airport and through Florissant and Hazelwood before flowing into the Missouri River. The creek is contaminated by nuclear waste left over from the effort to build the first atomic bomb during World War II.

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