Bridgeton Landfill Suit Sent Back to Circuit Court

David Bodamer, Executive Director, Content & User Engagement

April 27, 2016

2 Min Read
Bridgeton Landfill Suit Sent Back to Circuit Court

A lawsuit between Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and Republic Services, who operates the Bridgeton and West Lake Landfills has been sent back to St. Louis County’s circuit court by a federal judge.

The lawsuit charges Republic with eight counts of violating Missouri environmental laws. It seeks orders requiring Republic to extinguish an exothermic reaction within the landfill and take action to control odors, emissions and hazardous liquid releases caused by the fire. In October, Republic had removed the lawsuit by Attorney General Chris Koster to federal court.

The West Lake Landfill began as a quarry operated by the Westlake Quarry Company in 1939. Landfilling operations began in the 1950s. In 1973, 8,700 tons of barium sulfate and 39,000 tons of soil from the Manhattan Project were illegally dumped at the site. This was later discovered and, as a result, West Lake officially became listed as a Superfund site in 1990.

The landfill contains two operable units (OU-1 and OU-2), both of which contain radioactive material. Soil samples indicate the presence of leached barium sulfate cake, Uranium and Thorium. But the radiation levels are low.

An underground self-sustaining exothermic reaction has smoldered on the site for about five years. It’s being monitored because of its proximity to the radioactive waste. The Environmental Pr0teciton Agency is planning to put an isolation barrier in place to make sure the fire does not reach buried waste, a process that Republic says will be expedited by the ruling.

“Today’s ruling is based on assurances made by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office that the State will not seek any court order concerning the radiologically impacted material at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site,” said Russ Knocke, a spokesperson from Republic. “This effectively removes those issues—once and for all—from the state’s lawsuit against Bridgeton Landfill. It also clears a path for the EPA to finish its remaining isolation barrier planning and final remedy selection, without further litigation involvement by the State of Missouri.

It’s just the latest event in the unfolding saga regarding the landfills.

The full ruling is below:

Memorandum and Order

About the Author(s)

David Bodamer

Executive Director, Content & User Engagement, Waste360

David Bodamer is Executive Director of Content & User Engagement for Waste360 and NREI. Bodamer joined Waste360 in January 2014. He has been with NREI since September 2011 and has been covering the commercial real estate sector since 1999 for Retail Traffic, Commercial Property News and Shopping Centers Today. He also previously worked for Civil Engineering magazine. His writings on real estate have also appeared in REP. and the Wall Street Journal’s online real estate news site. He has won multiple awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors and is a past finalist for a Jesse H. Neal Award. 

Stay in the Know - Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Join a network of more than 90,000 waste and recycling industry professionals. Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox. Free.

You May Also Like