AG Sues Stinky Bridgeton Landfill, Cites Underground Fire, Hazardous Waste Violations

Environmental activists in recent weeks have done their best to raise a stink about a landfill in Bridgeton, which everyone agrees smells really bad -- and critics think could pose serious health risks, in part because there is a fire underground and radioactive material nearby.

Now, the company behind the landfill is going to be up against more than just angry advocates and concerning air quality reports.

Attorney General Chris Koster held a press conference in St. Louis today to announce that he is filing a lawsuit against Republic Services, the company in charge of the landfill, citing violations relating to hazardous waste and clean water laws in the state.

Republic Services, the company based in Arizona, has offered lengthy rebuttals to activists and responses to air quality studies over the last month.

Today, the company had this short statement to offer:

We have already started the process of working with the Attorney General as we share the same goal - to dramatically reduce the odor from the landfill while protecting nearby residents and employees, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

(And a spokeswoman tells Daily RFT that at this time, the company has no further comment).

Chris Koster. - VIA
Chris Koster.

"The nearby residents, schools, senior care facilities and a local hospital all have dealt with terrible, ongoing odor problems from the Bridgeton Landfill that have impacted their ability to go about normal activities," Koster says in a statement announcing the suit. "For St. Louisans who have not been directly exposed to the site, it is difficult to describe the effects this situation is having on local neighborhoods and businesses. While we have been assured by Republic Services that they have developed a remediation plan and are implementing that plan as expeditiously as possible, it is important that we ensure the corporation's promises are binding and enforceable in a court of law."

The announcement of the litigation comes less than a week after the Missouri Department of Natural Resources requested the involvement of Koster's office. That department has done reviews of the air quality locally, most recently releasing a report citing possible future health risks.

Continue for more details on the lawsuit and for the full document.

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