News Release 006

Butler County Sanitary Landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

Volume 39-006 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 21 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has issued a notice of violation to Republic Services Inc. for exceeding regulatory limits for methane gas at the Butler County Landfill.

The Butler County Sanitary Landfill covers approximately 37.9 acres and is located at 1638 Highway T in Poplar Bluff. The facility is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service Property. The landfill has a history of exceeding the regulatory limit for methane gas at the property line numerous times.

The Solid Waste Management Program has been working with the landfill on methane issues since 2001. The department required Republic Services to develop and implement an emergency gas management plan, including notification of residents occupying structures within 1,000 feet of the affected well. Republic Services was also required to offer adjacent property owners installation and replacement of methane detectors as needed.

Over the years, the facility has implemented several corrective action plans to address the landfill gas migration, including installation of additional monitoring wells and building gas-extraction trenches to help control the gas migration in the area. The department continues to work closely with Republic Services Inc. to ensure effective plans continue to be implemented. The site is currently inactive and no longer accepting waste.

Methane is a byproduct of the decomposition of waste and is explosive at concentrations between 5 and 15 percent by volume. 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. Methane is an odorless, colorless gas, but when generated from waste decomposition in a landfill it is often associated with other gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, which gives the gas an odor similar to what people smell when there is a natural gas leak.

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