Site Background - Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill
Updated Nov. 14, 2015
Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, from here forward referred to as Bridgeton, is currently owned by Bridgeton Landfill LLC, and is a subsidiary of Republic Services Inc., from here forward referred to as Republic. The landfill waste mass encompasses approximately 52 acres with approximately 240 feet below the ground’s surface and a total waste thickness of 320 feet. The waste is located in two distinct areas known as the North and South Quarries. Bridgeton was initially permitted on Nov. 18, 1985 and ceased accepting waste on Dec. 31, 2004. (See Bridgeton Landfill map)
1992-1995, Department records show a subsurface/surface fire was reported by facility owner Laidlaw Waste Systems, Inc. along the quarry walls in the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill North Quarry area on Sept. 25, 1992. Another possible subsurface fire was reported along the same quarry wall, adjacent to Taussig Road, on Oct. 31, 1994. On March 29, 1995, Laidlaw Waste Systems, Inc. reported to the department that the initial fire had been extinguished and additional data indicated a second fire in this area had not occurred, as previous reports had suggested.
- Initial report of subsurface/surface fire, Dec. 30, 1992.
- Initial report of possible subsurface fire, Oct. 31, 1994 and follow-up letter Mar. 29, 1995.
- Proposal prepared by SCS Engineers for Mitigation of Landfill Fire, rev. Jan. 10, 1994.
- Inspection and monitoring reports.
- Other related and supporting documents.
On Dec. 23, 2010, Bridgeton/Republic reported the landfill was experiencing elevated temperatures on some gas extraction wells. The facility began testing landfill gas from the gas extraction system and found elevated hydrogen and carbon monoxide and reduced methane concentrations, which is indicative of a subsurface smoldering event. The Solid Waste Management Program has been meeting with Bridgeton/Republic staff and facility consultants to gather and analyze data and information concerning the elevated temperatures at the landfill.
Note: Subsurface smoldering event or fire -- These reactions occur more slowly without a visible flame or quantities of smoke and may be deep within the landfill. Normally, an actual flame will not be observed. The only time this type of event or fire results in a visible flame or smoke is when the subsurface event or fire is excavated and exposed to the atmosphere.
The Solid Waste Management Program tasked the facility owner with researching, designing and implementing actions to isolate the area with elevated temperatures in order to prevent expansion of the subsurface smoldering event. By Spring 2011, Bridgeton/Republic began implementing a series of corrective actions to address the increased temperatures. Through winter 2011, subsidence levels at the landfill remained within the normally expected range for decomposing waste at depth and gas extraction wells continued to show elevated temperatures.
In early spring 2012, subsidence levels began to exceed those expected levels and an increase in odors was noticed with some odor complaints being filed by nearby residents and businesses. The Solid Waste Management Program contracted with landfill fire technical experts who assisted in confirming the presence of a subsurface smoldering event at Bridgeton through physical observations of the landfill and data analyses. On July 23, 2012, the Solid Waste Management Program issued Bridgeton a notice of violation for conditions associated with the subsurface smoldering event.
In April 2012, the Solid Waste Management Program and Bridgeton/Republic began meeting on, at least, a monthly basis to determine additional corrective actions to be implemented at the landfill to address the subsurface smoldering event and associated odors. In August, Bridgeton/Republic completed a comprehensive air sampling to characterize the upwind, downwind and source air. The results of that sampling were submitted by Bridgeton/Republic to the Solid Waste Management Program on Oct. 21, 2012. The Solid Waste Management Program with assistance from the Air Pollution Control Program and the Department of Health and Senior Services has reviewed the Bridgeton/Republic submitted air sampling data and report. The analyses indicate concentrations of certain compounds that merit additional sampling and corrective actions by Bridgeton/Republic.
Between Jan. and Apr. 2013, Bridgeton/Republic completed installation of a blower skid and 40 new gas extraction wells to increase the landfill gas destruction capacity of the landfill’s gas collection and control system to assist in odor control. Of these new wells, 13 are gas interceptor wells that will create a low pressure area vacuum curtain or “wall” to allow landfill gas to be controlled, so that it can be safely destructed in the landfill gas collection and control system to reduce heat from the subsurface smoldering event. To monitor movement of the subsurface smoldering event, 14 temperature monitoring probes have been installed. Additionally, several acres of flexible membrane liner and a large volume of soil have been placed on the existing landfill cap to help reduce odor impacts.
Bridgeton/Republic staff continues inspection activities including:
- Daily visual inspections of the landfill cap and infrastructure looking for odor sources such as cracks in the clay cap or holes or cracks in the flexible membrane liner or other parts of the landfill gas or leachate collection systems.
- Daily visual inspections and monthly surveys to monitor the landfill cap for differential settlement that may be caused by the subsurface smoldering event that can lead to damage to the landfill gas or leachate extraction systems or the landfill cap.
- Weekly landfill gas sampling and temperature monitoring - to monitor the location of the subsurface smoldering event.
On Feb. 1, 2013, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued an Order to Republic, which owns Bridgeton, stating the department would immediately begin collecting air sampling data at the landfill. The Order also instructed the company to pay for costs associated with this data collection and to provide the department access to the facility property for data collection operations. The department also issued a news release.
Photo of work at Bridgeton Landfill on Mar.12, 2013.
On March 21, 2013 Missouri Department of Natural Resources sent a referral letter to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster for violations of Missouri's environmental laws at and around the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, owned by Republic Services Inc.
On March 27, 2013, Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit on Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill seeking to ensure Republic Services completes promised actions to address environmental, odor problems at the facility. The Attorney General’s Office issued a news release that provides additional details.
On May 13, 2013, Attorney General Chris Koster outlined the terms of a First Agreed Order reached with the Bridgeton Landfill. Under the agreement, the landfill owners will provide temporary accommodations for residents most affected by the odor, and reimburse state agencies for continuous monitoring and sampling of the air and ground at the site. See the following information from the Attorney General’s press conference:
- Bridgeton Landfill Agreement Highlights
- Lodging Program for Local Residents
- News Release from the Attorney General’s Office
On June 3, 2013 - the reinforced concrete pipe abandonment project was completed. The last of the 6 reinforced concrete pipes believed to be contributing to odor release was successfully abandoned. Work at the landfill will now focus on preparation and installation of the new interim EVOH capping system which Republic Services has indicated will further reduce odors being generatead by the landfill. The EVOH capping system will help reduce the odor and improve the collection of gas and liquids.
Photo of Bridgeton Landfill June 6, 2013.
On Aug. 9, 2013 - Republic Services notified the department that as of Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) cap over the landfill’s South Quarry was complete.
Photo of Bridgeton Landfill Aug. 10, 2013.
On Aug. 21, 2013 - Republic Services notified the department over the next few weeks an additional 7.5 acres of the landfill with black liner material in-place will be covered with the new EVOH capping material.
On Sept. 14, 2013 - Republic Services informed the department they received and have begun installing the additional 7.5 acres of EVOH liner over existing HDPE liner at Bridgeton Landfill for more effective odor control. As the new EVOH material is being placed over existing material, odors are not anticipated. However, some short-term odors may be generated as gas extraction wells in the placement area are prepared for installation of the new material. On Thursday and Friday, residents downwind from the landfill reported some slight to moderate odors during work hours.
On Sept. 17, 2013 -- The department issued a comment letter on Bridgeton Landfill's North Quarry Contingency Plan - Part 2 and Revised Part 1 submissions. Republic Services' response to this comment letter is due to the department on Oct. 7, 2013.
- Department response to Bridgeton Landfill North Quarry Contingency Plan - Part 2 and Revised Part 1.
Photo of Bridgeton Landfill Sept. 25, 2013.
On Oct. 23, 2013 -- The department issued a comment letter with conditional approval of Republic Services' Bridgeton Landfill North Quarry Action Plan.
On Nov. 1, 2013 -- Republic Services began installation of 30 new landfill gas extraction wells in the North Quarry of Bridgeton Landfill. As of Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, Republic Services advised that approximately 2.5 of the 30 wells had been installed. Republic Services notified the department the potential exists for some odor releases during drilling operations for the remaining wells over the next 30 days. To assist in controlling odors released during these construction activities, Republic Services uses a vacuum box on drilling equipment along with odor neutralizers. Additionally, Bridgeton Landfill continues to winterize the site.
Dec. 12, 2013 -- Bridgeton Landfill advised the department a pump malfunction due to recent freezing temperatures resulted in an approximately 40,000 gallon leachate release earlier in the day. Bridgeton Landfill staff identified and is now in the process of cleaning up the leachate release. During the cleanup process, there exists the potential for some odors off-site.
Jan. 6-8, 2014 -- Bridgeton Landfill continued work on the gas extraction system including the flares as a result of the extreme temperatures experienced over the past few days. Odors were reported outside the boundary of the landfill.
Jan. 18, 2014 -- The Pattonville Fire Protection District notified the department of elevated odors near Bridgeton Landfill. The department contacted Bridgeton Landfill to determine the source of the odors. Bridgeton staff advised they were experiencing mechanical difficulties with the flare system, one of the flares was brought back on line quickly and the other two have since been returned to full operational status.
Feb. 17, 2014 -- Republic Services and their emergency site and contractor teams responded yesterday to a surface fire on the southwest slope of the Bridgeton Landfill. Republic Services notified the department during the coming week, they will be working to repair infrastructure damaged by the fire. Republic Services advised that some off-site odor may be detected while the damaged area of the liner is being replaced.
Mar. 2, 2014 -- Bridgeton Landfill notified the department their crews worked Saturday afternoon, Mar. 1 and through the night to contain odors caused by an equipment failure on a gas extraction well (GEW-30R). As of 6:15 a.m. Mar. 2, Bridgeton Landfill advised the department odors from gas extraction well (GEW-30R) were controlled.
Mar. 18, 2014 -- Attorney General Chris Koster sends letter to US EPA to expedite action on West Lake Landfill. View the letter.
Mar. 29, 2014 -- Bridgeton Landfill advised the department the first of four,1-million-gallon leachate pretreatment tanks is now operational. With the new 1-million-gallon tank operating, landfill staff indicated they will begin removing smaller temporary tanks. While equipped with carbon canisters, these temporary tanks have periodically been identified as an odor source at the site.
Apr. 29, 2014 -- Attorney General Chris Koster issued a letter to US EPA related to West Lake Landfill and the need for testing for radiological contamination in the surrounding community with a focus on routes used during the 1970s to haul radiological material from the Latty Avenue storage facility to Westlake. View the letter.
June 19, 2014 -- Attorney General Chris Koster announced a Second Amendment to the First Agreed Order with Republic Services' Bridgeton Landfill has been reached and the amended agreement was signed by the parties and Judge Jamison of the St. Louis County Circuit Court. The order includes several new measures to monitor the migration of the subsurface smolder and address odors occurring at the Bridgeton Landfill.
Jul. 26, 2015 -- The department received from Republic Services for the Bridgeton Landfill a report titled "Bridgeton Landfill, L.L.C. – Sulfur Removal Technology Evaluation (Stage 2)-Final Report" View the report.
Aug. 10, 2015 -- The department issued an Aug. 10, 2015 letter to Bridgeton Landfill related to a Corrective Action Assessment and Plan for the Neck Area and North Quarry of the landfill.
- View the department's Aug. 10, 2015 letter.
Sept. 3, 2015 -- Attorney General Koster issued a press release and copies of expert reports that conclude radiation and other pollutants have migrated off-site at Bridgeton Landfill.
- Attorney General Koster's press release.
- Expert reports:
- West Lake Landfill Organic Pollutant Phytoforensic Assessment - Burken
- West Lake Landfill Phytoforensic Assessment using Gamma Spectroscopy - Usman
- West Lake Landfill Tree Core Analysis - Burken/Usman
- Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill Groundwater Investigation - Price/Wronkiewicz
- Subsurface Self Sustaining Reaction Incident - Sperling/Abedini
- Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill Incident - Thalhamer
- Field Inspection Reports - Stark
- Bridgeton Landfill Downwind Odor Assessment - Wright
- Feasibility Study - Groundwater Remediation - Hemmen
- Dec. 2014 U.S.G.S. Report - Background Groundwater Quality Review of 2012-2014 Groundwater Data, and Potential Origin of Radium at West Lake Landfill Site, St. Louis County, Missouri
Oct. 27, 2015 -- Bridgeton Landfill notified the department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of a sanitary sewer overflow near the permitted facility. MSD staff are at the location and working to fix the overflow. In speaking with the Pattonville Fire District Battalion Chief-on-duty and the department's investigator, there are moderate odors in the immediate vicinity of the overflow. Wind direction is currently to the southwest into the non-residential wooded area adjacent to the landfill.
Oct. 25, 2015 -- Bridgeton Landfill notified the department on Oct. 24, 2015 of a small grass fire in an area at the company's truck entrance at Taussig and St. Charles Rock Road. The department was advised the fire started at approximately 2:15 p.m. Pattonville and Robertson Fire Protection Districts responded and according to the fire districts the grass fire was contained by 2:45 p.m. and extinguished by 3:00 p.m. Photographs and discussions with fire department officials verified the source of the fire as an electric short from a switch on a nearby electric pole. The department’s AreaRAE system which is on-line 24/7 provided readings prior to, during and after the fire for carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide and gamma. Readings recorded during this period did not exceed any health based action levels.