News Release 550

Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill notifies neighbors of methane issues

Volume 38-550 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 22, 2010 – Fred Weber Inc. has been directed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to notify property owners and tenants near the Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill in St. Louis County of the possibility of methane gas migration in the area. 

Fred Weber Inc., the owner and operator of the Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill, 2320 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, has been asked to provide notification to property owners and tenants within 1,000 feet of three newly installed monitoring wells exhibiting methane levels above regulatory limits.   

Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill contains an active gas extraction system that has been expanded several times as the facility expanded in a proactive approach to manage methane generated by the landfill.  Despite actions Fred Weber Inc. has taken to address methane, the concentrations have periodically exceeded regulatory limits.

On Aug. 8 and Aug. 11, the landfill notified the department that methane gas in excess of the regulatory limits had been found in two monitoring wells near the northwest corner of the site.  On Aug 18, a well on the west side of the site also showed elevated methane readings.   Fred Weber Inc. is currently analyzing samples of the gas to determine whether it is coming from the landfill, or from a naturally occurring source, such as buried vegetation from a former wetland area.  Because this investigation will take some time, the department has asked Fred Weber Inc. to notify the adjacent property owners while the investigation progresses.  If the gas is determined to be coming from the landfill, the department will require Fred Weber Inc. to take necessary measures, such as putting in new extraction wells, in order to return to compliance 

Landfill gas is a term for a mixture of gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, and trace constituents of other contaminants that are byproducts of the decomposition of waste.  The concern about landfill gas migrating from the landfill is that methane is explosive within a certain range of concentrations, between 5 percent and 15 percent by volume.  Methane can also be generated from the natural breakdown of deeply buried vegetation.  Methane is colorless and odorless.  The Department of Natural Resources encourages nearby property owners to be aware of the potential for methane migration in the area and cooperate with Fred Weber as they conduct methane monitoring and provide methane detectors to those within the notification area.

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