Solid Waste Management Program
Site Background - Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill
Updated June 5, 2013
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)
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.
In recent months (Jan.- 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 will 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. In recent weeks, Bridgeton/Republic has focused on leachate management issues at the site including installation of a 300,000 gallon tank. Photos of blower skid (left) and flare for gas extraction system (right).
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.
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.
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.
Photo of Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill after sumps and reinforced concrete pipe project was completed.