- Bridgeton Landfill LLC, a subsidiary of Republic Services, reached a settlement with 34 homeowners near the Missouri site for "alleged loss of use or enjoyment of their property as a result of the subsurface reaction" for undisclosed terms, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- This "subsurface reaction" is an underground fire which was detected in late 2010 and has led to significant odor issues in the years since. Officials estimate that the reaction is moving about six inches per day, which has raised concerns about the site's proximity to nuclear waste at the nearby West Lake Landfill.
- According to a statement, Republic has spent more than $200 million on site improvements to manage the reaction, increase gas capture and reduce odors. This includes the installation of more than 40 gas wells.
Some local residents are still not satisfied with the result, but this marks another step forward for the controversial site since another settlement was reached with a large portion of local homeowners in 2014. This summer, a survey by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health also found that residents near the Bridgeton Landfill did not have notably higher asthma rates despite air pollution complaints. Republic pointed to this as further evidence that the site doesn't pose a health risk to the area.
Since then, the company also released a study touting its positive effects on the Missouri economy. Republic has also said it will continue to cooperate with state officials on site management, though cautioned that odor issues may persist until the underground fire dies out.
While the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the fire peaked in 2013, tensions are likely to continue until it is finally extinguished and a cleanup plan is established for the West Lake Landfill. The EPA is expected to select a remediation strategy for the site by the end of the year.