Residents might notice a stronger stench from the Bridgeton Landfill while crews complete a repair.
A fire broke out at the landfill on Sunday because of a broken pipe. The fire sent smoke billowing into the air and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources had to be called in to test air quality.
Crews are now at work replacing a sump pump. Landfill officials say a stronger odor could be present until work is complete.
Missouri's top law enforcement official wants the owner of a St. Louis landfill to provide more details about a underground smoldering fire at the site which could threaten radioactive waste buried nearby.
On Thursday, Attorney General Chris Koster asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court to order Republic Services to provide additional monitoring data related to the Bridgeton Landfill.
Koster says the state has asked Republic Services to supply data and maps showing the concentration of carbon monoxide at various locations in an effort to track movement of the fire.
He says the company has not supplied comprehensive data for the north part of the site, nearest the nuclear material.
A spokesman says the company expects to provide additional monitoring data that it believes will validate that the site is safe.
The construction of a trench designed to keep the slow smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill away from radioactive soil buried at the West Lake Landfill may have hit a snag. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that EPA testing has revealed more radioactive material at West Lake.
The paper reports that Florissant City Engineer Tim Barrett wrote about the newly discovered materials in a letter to Mayor Thomas Schneider. Barrett wrote that the EPA is expected to release a report on the new findings later this week.
Barrett also wrote that the location of the radioactive materials and the results of additional testing will determine how and where the trench will be built.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Initial testing work is about to start on a trench to help keep an underground fire at a suburban St. Louis landfill from reaching World War II-era nuclear waste buried 1,200 feet away.
Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks told The Associated Press Tuesday that initial survey work for the fire break at the Bridgeton Landfill will begin next week. Actual construction of the trench will start early next year and take several months.
The testing work was delayed more than two weeks by the federal government shutdown.
Bridgeton Landfill owner Republic Services Inc. is paying to build the dirt-filled trench aimed at keeping the smoldering away from the adjacent West Lake Landfill. EPA is supervising the work - West Lake was designated a Superfund site in 1990.
A group of north county residents want their neighbors near the West Lake Landfill to put more pressure on elected leaders to clean up the site. About 100 people attended a public meeting Thursday night hosted by the West Lake Landfill Community Group and Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
MCE's Ed Smith told the group that the current fire smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill isn't the first to threaten the radioactive site. "There was a landfill fire in the early 90s closer to the radioactive wastes than the current landfill fire," he said.
That's why the groups say plans to build a barrier between the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill and West Lake isn't enough. They want local leaders to put pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the soil, as they're doing at other radioactive waste sites.
Missouri State Representative Bill Otto was among the political leaders who attended last night's meeting. He told Fox 2 News that EPA work on the barrier project that had stopped because of the government shutdown is back on track. "They're getting back in the office," he said. "And getting ready to resume the work that they had started or were tasked to do with the landfill."
Bridgeton Landfill LLC released the following statement: "We're eager to resume work with the EPA in conjunction with state agencies to begin the next stage of the construction."
Pattonville Fire officials along with St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and representatives from County Executive Charlie Dooley's office also attended the meeting.
Organizers are calling on residents to note odor issues and contact their local politicians to make a change.
The consequences of the federal government shutdown could ultimately have an effect on the health and safety of St. Louisans.
Missouri's attorney general Chris Koster has joined the call for federal regulators to proceed with required testing of a St. Louis County landfill that's been halted by the budget and debt ceiling stalemate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decided to delay testing at the Bridgeton Landfill until federal funding for the work is enacted. There has been an underground fire burning at the landfill which is adjacent to the West Lake Landfill where radioactive waste is buried.
Chris Koster's office released a letter yesterday asking the EPA to reconsider its decision to delay testing.
Additional steps are being undertaken to reduce the strong odors emanating from the Bridgeton Landfill. Owners of the landfill, Republic Services, say they are adding 7 acres of tarp to control the smell which has been so bad that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed suit on behalf of residents. Gas extraction pumps have also been installed to reduce the odor. Despite some improvement, there are still days when the smell is overwhelming. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says more short-term odors may be generated as gas extraction wells are prepared for the installation of the liner.
The company that owns the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill has 20 days to submit a new plan to stop the fire's spread toward radioactive waste buried at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources yesterday found "significant deficiencies" in Republic Service's contingency plan.
Residents living near the two landfills have expressed serious concerns about the underground fire that continues to creep closer to the radioactive waste site.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic in March because the continuous burning violates state environmental laws. Koster says he will take them back to court if necessary to force the company to comply with the DNR's request for a new plan.