News Release 302

Lee’s Summit Landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

NOTE: This version corrects error in fourth paragraph. This case has not been referred to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office as state in original release.

Volume 38-302 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 19, 2010 – City officials in Lee’s Summit have notified property owners near the Lee’s Summit Sanitary Landfill in Jackson County of the possibility of methane gas migration in the area, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The city owns the Lee’s Summit Sanitary Landfill, which covers approximately 160 acres at 2101 Southeast Hamblen Road.   Notification letters were sent to the eight property owners within 1,000 feet of monitoring wells exhibiting methane levels above regulatory limits. 

The Department of Natural Resources has been working with the city on methane issues since 1997.  The city has taken corrective actions to address high methane concentrations measured in monitoring wells, including the installation of an active gas extraction system and components designed to remove liquid from the landfill.

Despite these actions, the concentrations continue to exceed the regulatory limits.  The department issued Lee’s Summit a notice of violation earlier this year for failing to keep methane levels within the regulatory limits.  The department continues to work with the city as it develops and implements a strategy to address the migration and return to compliance with the Missouri Solid Waste Management Law. 

Landfill gas is a term for a mixture of gases, including methane, carbon dioxide and trace constituents of other contaminants that are byproducts of the decomposition of waste.  The concern about landfill gas migrating from the landfill is that methane is explosive within a certain range of concentrations (between 5 and 15 percent by volume).  Methane is colorless and odorless.

The Department of Natural Resources encourages nearby property owners to be aware of the potential for methane migration in the area and cooperate with the city of Lee’s Summit as they conduct methane monitoring and provide methane detectors to those within the notification area.

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