News Release 190

Renfro Sanitary Landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

Volume 38-190 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO APRIL 2, 2010 – The City of Branson West has notified property owners near the Renfro Sanitary Landfill in Reed’s Spring of the possibility of methane gas migration in the area, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The city, which owns the closed Renfro Sanitary Landfill on Ance Creek Road in Reed’s Spring, notified property owners within 1,000 feet of methane monitoring wells that were exhibiting elevated levels of methane.  Notification letters were sent to approximately 50 neighboring property owners and tenants within the potentially affected area.

The landfill had a history of methane migration problems in the mid-1990s, however, former landfill owners addressed the problems by installing an active methane extraction system in 1999.  Branson West purchased the landfill in June 2008 and accepted responsibility for it, including operation of the extraction system.  In December, the concentration of methane within a monitoring well near the landfill property boundary was in excess of regulatory limits.  The Department of Natural Resources issued a notice of violation to the city and required the notification of property owners and tenants. 

Branson West city officials were onsite the week of March 22 to conduct follow-up visits and discuss the situation with neighboring property owners and tenants.  They offered to monitor in and around structures and install methane alarms in structures for those who requested the service.

The city has filed a report with the department’s Solid Waste Management Program describing who was notified and will provide additional information on monitoring and installation of methane alarms once those tasks are completed.  Branson West will also submit a methane gas corrective action plan to the department within 60 days to address the elevated methane levels.  The department’s Solid Waste Management Program will continue to coordinate corrective actions with the city to return the landfill to compliance.

Methane is a byproduct of the decomposition of waste and is explosive at concentrations between 5 and 15 percent.  To protect public health and safety, the regulatory limit for methane found 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.

The Department of Natural Resources encourages residents and business owners to be aware of the potential for methane migration in the area and call 911 if they smell a natural gas like odor at or around their house or other enclosed structures.        

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