News Release 074

Valley Disposal Landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

Volume 38-074 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO FEB. 17, 2010 -- The owners of a landfill in Jefferson County are notifying property owners near the facility of the possibility of increased methane gas migration in the area, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Valley Disposal Co. Inc., which oversees the closed landfill at 1775 Cecos Lane in Arnold, will notify property owners within 1,000 feet of methane monitoring wells exhibiting elevated levels of methane. The notification letters will be sent to 94 neighboring properties. Property owners should begin to receive letters later this week. The company is also offering to monitor around homes and structures for methane with an explosive gas meter, upon request.

The Department of Natural Resources has been working with the landfill owner on methane issues since 1996. The landfill is approximately a 5-acre footprint that ceased accepting waste in 1977. Valley Disposal is required to maintain its methane detection and control system, notify property owners of elevated methane levels and take steps to keep methane from migrating off-site during its 30-year post-closure period.

In January, the department issued a notice of violation to Valley Disposal as a result of ongoing methane levels found in several monitoring wells at the facility that are in excess of regulatory limits. The department is requiring the facility to notify neighboring residents and address the migration. Staff from the department's Solid Waste Management Program will be following up with the landfill owners as they take steps to stop the migration and return to compliance.

Methane is a byproduct of the decomposition of waste and is explosive at concentrations between 5 and 15 percent. To protect public health and safety, the regulatory limit for methane found in the soil at a landfill property boundary, is 2.5 percent (by volume). The Department of Natural Resources encourages residents and business owners to be aware of the potential for methane migration in the area and call 911 if they smell a natural gas odor at or around their house or other enclosed structures.

For additional information, contact the Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401.