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Besides news reports earlier this year that residents can't escape the putrid stench even inside their own homes, the Bridgeton landfill got the most negative press with an expert two weeks ago warning about a potential radioactive "dirty bomb."
At that time, the company said activists were scaring people with irresponsible and inaccurate speculations, but the lawsuit from Koster means that Republic Services is likely to face much more scrutiny going forward.
The AG's office says in its announcement:
In addition to addressing the odor problems and correcting the environmental violations, his lawsuit seeks to provide remedies to help local residents and businesses deal with the ongoing effects of the burning waste. The lawsuit also seeks to ensure that Republic, rather than taxpayers, pays for the costs of experts hired by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to perform ongoing, intensive environmental testing. Koster noted that DNR has committed to share the experts' analysis and test results with the public as quickly as possible.
It's worth noting that the AG's announcement directly references the "underground fire," which Republic has generally dismissed as a "heat-producing reaction" -- and even the natural resources department has labeled a "subsurface smoldering event." This reported fire below ground is one of the primary concerns of environmental groups.
Here's the full lawsuit.
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