© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rep. Doug Clemens wants robust policy response to radioactive waste investigation

Missouri politician Doug Clemens stands at a podium. Behind him is a group of other people, including Missouri politician Josh Hawley.
Tristen Rouse
St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Doug Clemens, D-St. Ann, on July 13, at the Dept. of Energy’s Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center in St. Charles County. The press conference was held after new reporting on ongoing radioactive contamination in the St. Louis area.

The latest episode of Politically Speaking features state Rep. Doug Clemens talking with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Sarah Kellogg about the public policy response to radioactive waste contamination.

Clemens represents Missouri’s 72nd House District, which takes in portions of northwest St. Louis County. He was first elected in 2018.

Here’s what Clemens discussed on the show:

  • After a consortium of news agencies and St. Louis-area activists found that the federal government downplayed the risk of radioactive waste contamination, Clemens talked extensively about what needed to be done on a federal and state level to compensate residents.
  • He discussed a plan from U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley that would add a number of St. Louis and St. Charles County ZIP codes to a program that reimburses people who contracted ailments consistent with radioactive waste exposure.
  • Clemens previewed the upcoming veto session, which could feature lawmakers overriding some of Gov. Mike Parson’s vetoes on budgetary items.
  • Clemens talked about what to expect in next year’s session, including efforts to curtail state government from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion training. GOP moves on that front sputtered after senators took out provisions restricting DEI funding from budgetary bills.

Clemens is a longtime resident of northwest St. Louis County and worked for a company that installs captioning phones for people who are hearing impaired. He first ran for the Missouri House in 2010, when he lost to Eileen McGeoghegan in the Democratic primary by 11 votes. He also lost in a run in 2012.

Six years later, Clemens defeated four other Democrats to win his House seat. Since 2018, he’s generally had marginal competition in the heavily Democratic House seat.

Clemens serves on House committees dealing with mental health, agriculture and pensions. He will be eligible to run for one more term, in 2024.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.