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Site Background - Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill

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Archived Reports | Subsurface Smoldering Event | West Lake Landfill | Overview

Updated Mar. 29, 2014

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.

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.

Bridgeton Landfill photo taken 12-24-2011

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.

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill photo taken 4-25-2012

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.

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill photo taken 2-15-2013

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:

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. The department also issued a news release.

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. 

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill photo taken 4-28-2013

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:

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.

                                                    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. 9, 2014 – Attorney General Chris Koster files application for further relief under the First Agreed Order of Preliminary Injunction. Read the news release. View the filing.

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. 25, 2014 -- Bridgeton Landfill notified the department the first of four, 1-million-gallon leachate pretreatment tanks began operation on Mar. 25, 2014. 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.

Photo of leachate pre-treatment area Bridgeton Landfill, Mar. 19, 2014