News Release 057

Maryland Heights landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

Volume 38-057 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO FEB. 8, 2010 – The operators of a Maryland Heights landfill are notifying property owners near the facility of the possibility of increased methane gas migration in the area, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Missouri Pass Landfill, which oversees the closed landfill at 2520 Adie Road, began last week notifying property owners within 1,500 feet of methane monitoring probes that have been recording elevated levels of methane. Property owners began receiving the letters, which were dated Feb. 2, last week.

The company will be following up with door-to-door visits in the near future offering to monitor for methane and to provide property owners with an explosive gas meter.

The Department of Natural Resources has been working with the landfill operators on methane issues since 1981. The landfill, which has a 71-acre footprint on a 85-acre site, officially closed in 1996, but the operators are expected to maintain its methane detection and extraction system, and to notify property owners of cases of elevated methane levels during a 30-year post-closure period.

In September 2008 the facility notified 30 adjacent land owners of elevated methane levels at that time and conducted follow-up inspections with each property owner. Each of these property owners received last week’s notification along with 129 new property owners.

In November, the department notified the landfill that any subsequent indication of methane in any of the monitoring wells should be followed up by notification of neighboring residents. Staff from the department’s Solid Waste Management Program will be following up with the landfill operators concerning the continued effort to deal with the methane.

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.

The Department of Natural Resources encourages residents and business owners to use precaution and call 911 if they smell gas. For additional information, contact the Department of Natural Resources’ Solid Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401.