BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOV) -- Following complaints about an unusually foul odor coming from the landfill in Bridgeton, the owner, Republic Services, says it is working on a long term fix. However, the smell may get worse before it gets better.
Republic Services says it is in the process of installing 40 new gas collection wells at the Bridgeton Landfill. The project is expected to take six to eight weeks. During that time, the odors may get worse.
February 15th, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources posted an update online that said recent air quality samples taken at and near the landfill show the air is safe. The summary, posted online the Friday before the President's Day holiday weekend, did not provide details on the data sampling or did not disclose where exactly the samples were collected.
In the summary, the Missouri DNR explained that the Department of Health and Senior Services (which reviewed the air quality screening data) identified "a short-term benzene concentration in one sample near the landfill property line that was slightly above a conservative health-protective screening level for long-term residential exposure".
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment says it requested the data results from the state last Friday.
"Benzene is a known carcinogen and they said they were above normal levels. So, again with the transparency issue, we want to know what the benzene levels actually are and we want ongoing testing," said Ed Smith.
A Republic Services spokesperson says that the company has also requested the data from the Missouri DNR. In an email to News 4's Diana Zoga, Anne Marie Moy (the media contact for Republic Services on the Bridgeton Landfill issue) wrote that benzene is common in the environment.
"The fact is, you get more benzene exposure by filling your car with gas than even being as close as onsite at the landfill. Because regulation requires that it be monitored at very low levels, it quickly and easily shows up," Moy wrote.
You can find the Missouri DNR's update here: http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/facilities/bridgetonsanitarylandfill-dnr.htm
Republic Services is also updating its website here: http://www.bridgetonlandfill.com/