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Missouri, St. Louis-area landfill reach agreement

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm •  Published: June 19, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office and the owners of the Bridgeton Landfill reached an agreement Thursday on measures aimed at better controlling underground smoldering and reducing a strong odor that for months has troubled residents in a densely populated area of suburban St. Louis.

The agreement with owner Republic Services includes new measures to fight a noxious smell that can spread for miles, and to monitor the migration of the subsurface smoldering, which is generating concerns because it is near the burial site of Cold War-era nuclear waste.

"Today's order does not, by a long shot, resolve the case against Republic," Koster said at a news conference in St. Louis after the agreement was signed in court. "It is, however, an important step in holding Republic accountable and ensuring that the company takes whatever steps are necessary to protect the health and quality of life in and around the Bridgeton area."

Koster sued Republic Services last year. Though the two sides previously reached agreement on several measures to both contain the smoldering and cut the odor, Thursday's deal is an amendment to that pact. The agreement does not end the lawsuit, scheduled to go to trial in August 2015.

It requires several measures to knock down the smell, including additional flares to burn off odorous gases and installation of a vapor recovery system. It also requires more extensive monitoring, including carbon monoxide testing, to gauge if subsurface temperatures are rising, and to better understand the location and movement of the smoldering.

Republic also agreed to reimburse the state up to $1.5 million for monitor and oversight costs.

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