News Release 014

Elevated carbon monoxide levels being monitored at closed landfill

Volume 39-014 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 27, 2011— The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is working with Republic Services to investigate and address elevated carbon monoxide readings in the landfill gas at the company's inactive Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill located in St. Louis County.

Republic Services notified the Missouri Department of Natural Resources of data obtained from portable gas monitoring equipment that is often indicative of a subsurface fire. Gas sampling results from Jan. 4 included high levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and low levels of methane and oxygen. No smoke or steam is visible at the landfill and the landfill surface appears unchanged.

The fire is believed to be located deep within the south central portion of the landfill, 100 to 150 feet below the surface.

Unlike surface fires, subsurface landfill fires occur with minimal oxygen and smolder for long periods of time within the waste mass where they slowly burn themselves out. As a safety measure, Republic Services turned off a section of the landfill gas extraction system to minimize the amount of oxygen made available.

While this area is the site of several different sanitary and demolition landfills, this activity does not involve any other landfills, including the areas being addressed under the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site. While there is no evidence that this activity is causing any health concerns, the landfill is being closely monitored. The department is in close contact with Republic Services and local officials to ensure appropriate safety precautions are taken.

The Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill was initially permitted in January 1979 and accepted municipal solid waste until the facility ceased operation in December 2004. The facility is currently working with the department to certify closure of the landfill.

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