News Release 379

Monitoring well detects excessive methane at St. Louis Demolition Landfill

Volume 38-379 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 25, 2010 – One of eight new methane monitoring wells installed last year at the St. Louis Demolition Landfill has recorded a single methane reading in excess of the regulatory limit, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

St. Louis officials notified the department through weekly monitoring that on June 15 one of its wells located on the west side of Hall Street across from the landfill registered a methane reading of 3 percent. The regulatory limit is 2.5 percent.

Sample results taken since June 15 have shown methane levels below the regulatory limit.

The city installed eight monitoring wells on the west side of Hall Street at the request of the department in October after its existing wells showed the migration of methane gas away from the landfill, which is located on the far northeastern city limit boundary between Hall Street and the Mississippi River.

At the request of the department, the city will be notifying residents living within 1,000 feet of the well where the elevated methane levels were found. Only residents who had not been notified of previous methane issues will be contacted this time. Most residents in the area were contacted by the city and supplied with methane alarms after the October findings.

The department’s Solid Waste Management Program has been working with the city of St. Louis to properly close its demolition landfill and move the facility into post closure status.  The city built its demolition landfill before implementation of current landfill design and operation requirements.  These older facilities were not required to monitor for methane gas as part of their operational plan.

As part of the process to properly close the landfill, the city met the department’s requirement to prepare an investigation plan and install additional gas monitoring wells along the western perimeter of the landfill. 

Methane is a byproduct of the decomposition of waste and is explosive at concentrations between 5 and 15 percent. The regulatory limit for methane at a landfill property boundary is 2.5 percent by volume.

For general information, residents and business owners may contact the local fire department during the day at 314-533-3406. For additional information, contact the Department of Natural Resources’ Solid Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401.