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Wed May 29, 2013, 02:59 PM

Smoldering Landfill Could Threaten Nuclear Waste.

Dawn Chapman can put up with the noxious smell caused by smoldering trash in a landfill near her suburban St. Louis home. But if the burning creeps close to buried nuclear waste, she's ready to get out.

It's a problem that worries many people in this densely populated area near Lambert Airport, where the trash burns just 1,200 feet from another landfill that holds radioactive waste dating back to the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb in the 1940s.

"We're talking about just walking away from our home, honestly," said Chapman, a mother of three young special-needs children. She's not comfortable selling the house, even if she could. . .

Just below the surface of the Bridgeton Landfill, a layer of trash has been burning since at least 2010, fueled by an underground reaction of decomposing waste. The smoldering causes a noxious odor so overpowering that people in surrounding neighborhoods are reluctant to come out of their homes. Republic Services, the Phoenix-based owner of Bridgeton, is spending millions of dollars to ease the smell problem.

But the smell is just the most immediate concern. Environmentalists are alarmed by the possibility that the fire could someday reach the nuclear waste in the neighboring West Lake Landfill, owned by a subsidiary of Republic Services.


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Reply Smoldering Landfill Could Threaten Nuclear Waste. (Original post)
elleng May 2013 OP
Sherman A1 May 2013 #1

Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:48 PM

1. St. Louis Post Dispatch Article on this from earlier in the month

Republic Services Inc. will place a plastic cap on its Bridgeton landfill by early September to control foul odors and extinguish an underground fire, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday.
Capping the landfill is part of an agreement between Koster and Republic filed Monday in St. Louis County Circuit Court. The attorney general sued Republic on March 27, alleging violations of state environmental laws.

Koster said his office would “aggressively” track the company’s compliance.

The work is expected to temporarily worsen the stench from the landfill fire, and Republic has agreed to provide hotels for nearby residents for the next month.


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