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Bridgeton Landfill: Officials Say the Bad Smells Could Pose Future Public Health Risk

"It could pose health problems in the future," Smith says. "On one hand, we have sporadic testing on days when there may not have been significant odors.... On the other hand, their testing has not been as rigorous as it needs to be and...as thorough as it needs to be."

Republic Services, however, has different take on the results -- and says it welcomes continued scrutiny as the MDNR recommends.

Hydrogen Sulfide image.jpg
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Tim Trost, area president for Republic Services, encouraged additional studying and says in a statement, "We are pleased that MDNR's latest air testing results showed 'no chemicals detected above a level of public health concern' in the nearby residential area."

His statement continues:

The health and safety of our neighbors and 350 on-site employees is most important to us and we are pleased that the latest round of monitoring for carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and sulfur dioxide did not identify any concentrations of concern for public health.

And of the concerns around hydrogen sulfide, the company says that it is undertaking a "careful review" of on-site activities and off-site conditions to evaluate MDNR's report of the potentially concerning detection levels. Still, Republic Services argues that its preliminary review suggests "that the reported elevated hydrogen sulfide levels are not representative of odor emissions from the Bridgeton Landfill."

Here's the full news release from Republic Services:

Republic Services Welcomes the Release of MDNR's Most Recent Air Findings for Bridgeton Landfill

MDNR: "Samples collected in a nearby residential area also showed no chemicals detected above a level of public health concern"

(Bridgeton, Missouri): Tim Trost, the Area President for Republic Services, the parent company of Bridgeton Landfill LLC, welcomed the release of additional air data regarding Bridgeton Landfill and encouraged additional testing.

Said Trost, "We are pleased that MDNR's latest air testing results showed 'no chemicals detected above a level of public health concern' in the nearby residential area."

MDNR has posted additional air monitoring results, including a summary of ongoing monitoring conducted between February 13th and March 15th of 2013. You can see those reports here.

Added Trost, "The health and safety of our neighbors and 350 on-site employees is most important to us and we are pleased that the latest round of monitoring for carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and sulfur dioxide did not identify any concentrations of concern for public health."

Republic Services is undertaking a careful review of on-site activities and off-site conditions to evaluate MDNR's report of elevated average hydrogen sulfide detections on three days, but our preliminary review of the data, the instrumentation used, and wind direction on the days of elevated readings would suggest that the reported elevated hydrogen sulfide levels are not representative of odor emissions from the Bridgeton Landfill.

Said Trost, "More than 30 of our on-site employees and contractors were wearing 4-gas meter monitors that detect hydrogen sulfide and other gases and during this time period. We did not have on-site conditions in February that triggered any worker health protection alarms. We look forward to working with MDNR to better understand what may have caused this intermittent elevation on their devices."

According to MDNR's website, the elevated hydrogen sulfide findings "were not in excess of public health protection guidelines for exposures lasting less than 24 hours."

Concluded Trost, "We look forward to the additional tests and sharing the results with our employees and the public."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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4 comments
Christine O'Neill
Christine O'Neill

Terry, the landfill is operated by Republic Services, who sent sent the letter. That is the company to which Kate is referring.

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

worrying is like a rocking chair...gives you something to do but doesnt get you anywhere!! And also the trash companies do NOT own the landfills lol

Kate Tabers
Kate Tabers

Yes. Last night I saw this story on the news. Then today I got a second letter from them saying there is no health risk and it is under control. Not liking the lack if information from the trash company.

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