Republic Services Inc. will have to pay at least $4.6 million to 947 current and former residents who lived near the company’s Bridgeton, Mo., landfill, according to a U.S. District Court final settlement.
The final settlement aims to compensate residents because of odor issues caused by an underground fire at the landfill operated by the Phoenix-based waste and recycling company.
The plaintiffs will share slightly more than $3.2 million, after subtracting about $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and litigation costs, confirmed the law firm representing the plaintiffs, Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC.
A preliminary settlement in April called for more than $6.8 million for more than 400 residents.
At that time, Republic said in a statement, “We are the first to acknowledge that the odors have been a source of considerable public concern and frustration,” said Russ Knocke, director of public affairs. “We share that frustration and hope that the resolution of this suit will bring peace of mind to our community. We also sincerely appreciate the community’s patience as we continue to do everything within our power to rectify a complex and unfortunate situation that we did not create.”
Republic said it has invested more than $100 million to manage the effects of the subsurface smoldering event, including the increased production of gas and related odors, including a capping system over the south quarry and adding more than 40 new gas wells as part of a gas extraction system.
Republic said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources confirmed that odor occurrences have been significantly reduced.