- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has ordered Republic Services to add more safeguards and develop a plan to prevent the spread of an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill, which has been burning for more than four years past existing defenses. The DNR also observed in June three "leachate outbreaks" in the north end of the landfill.
- Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic in March 2013. As a result of the ongoing suit, Republic has spent more than $100 million to try to control the fire by capping the landfill, building a leachate treatment plant, and installing temperature monitors, cooling wells and gas extraction equipment. A trial is scheduled for 2016.
- The DNR, Koster’s office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Republic all want to keep the fire from spreading to the north quarry because that area is adjacent to the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill.
A plan by EPA and Republic in 2013 to build a barrier separating the two landfills stalled due to uncertainty about the extent of radioactive contamination, the Post-Dispatch reported. Because of "uncertainties" surrounding the barrier, the DNR gave the company 30 days to develop an alternate plan to stop the fire's movement.
Residents still complain of putrid odors and eye and sinus irritation from the fire, but some have said the smells and irritation have improved since Republic capped the landfill and installed equipment to burn off gases.
On top of this, residents have waited for years for cleanup at the West Lake Landfill. The situation seems to just get more complicated, and residents need action.