ST. LOUIS — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Tuesday announced an agreement with Republic Services Inc. he says will hopefully lessen foul odors being emitted from the company’s Bridgeton Landfill by the end of the summer.
The agreement calls for the company to pay to relocate hundreds of residents temporarily while repairs are made to address the strong odor coming from the landfill.
Koster said crews plan to install a new permanent cap that will capture and destroy the odorous gases, but first must remove top sections of six concrete pipes they say are contributing to the smell.
“Republic has begun plans to place a new permanent cap over the site that we hope will contain and capture the vast majority of these emissions before they’re released into the air,” Koster said.
Residents in about 270 households located within a mile of the landfill may choose to relocate from May 20 to June 14 because odors are expected to get worse during the pipe removal process.
For residents choosing to stay with friends or family instead, they’ll be given $125 a week for compensation.
Koster addressed concerns some residents have voiced about security while they are away.
“I spoke yesterday, personally, with Tim Fitch, police chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, and he offered his personal assurance that his department would provide the city of Bridgeton and Chief Hood (of Bridgeton PD) with any additional backup that they may require,” he said.
Koster said underground smoldering at the landfill is being watched closely amid concerns about its proximity to buried nuclear waste. Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Republic will be required to pay the state for its continued monitoring of the air and ground at the landfill.
The odor is caused by underground smoldering occurring about 1,200 feet from an adjacent landfill where Cold War era nuclear waste is stored.
Assistant Attorney General Joe Bindbeutel says there is concern that the area of smoldering is moving toward the nuclear waste.
Koster says plans are in place to make sure the nuclear waste remains protected.
On March 27, Koster filed suit against Republic Services after he said the landfill violated the state’s air, hazardous waste, solid waste and clean water laws.