Bridgeton Landfill, Missouri Attorney General reach settlement in lawsuit

Bridgeton Landfill (File photo)

ST. LOUIS – The owners of the Bridgeton Landfill have reached a settlement with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office on a multi-million dollar lawsuit over an underground fire and fears of contaminating the nearby area.

According to our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Republic Services, the owners of the landfill, will pay $12.5 million for a Community Project Fund to be used to pay for environmental cleanup and provide compensation for affected residents.

The settlement also includes a $1 million civil penalty, $500,000 in additional damages, and $2 million to reimburse the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Former Attorney General Chris Koster filed the suit in 2013. The lawsuit made its way to federal court in 2015 but was bumped back down to the local courts.

Republic Services released the following statement regarding the settlement:

“Today, the Bridgeton Landfill announced the resolution of the lawsuit initiated in 2013 by the Missouri Attorney General’s office alleging damages and seeking injunctive relief regarding the subsurface reaction that started in December 2010 at the Bridgeton Landfill at 13570 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, Missouri.

“The terms of the resolution are contained in a Consent Judgment entered today by Hon. Michael T. Jamison, Division 10, St. Louis County Circuit Court. Among the terms of the Consent Judgment is the creation of a $12.5 million Community Project Fund. The Community Project Fund will be administered by the well-regarded St. Louis Community Foundation. The Fund will prioritize projects which promote the betterment of the environment, public health and safety, and the welfare of the people in the communities near the Bridgeton Landfill.

“Also, the Consent Judgment provides mechanisms for further improvements and maintenance at the Bridgeton Landfill; payment of certain costs associated with Missouri Department of Natural Resource’s monitoring of the site since 2013, payments for alleged damages to natural resources; and a penalty for alleged violations of Missouri law. Total payments under the Consent Judgment are $16,000,000 including the $12.5 million community project fund; this expense was previously accrued for by the company.

“In recent years, the closed Landfill has voluntarily invested more than $200 million in odor control, environmental remediation and site enhancements. The Landfill established one of the most capable and talented management teams in the country and brought innovative solutions to regulators when faced with complex challenges.

“From building a world-class liquids pretreatment facility in a fraction of the normal time to designing a highly effective heat extraction barrier, and from maintaining site systems during extreme winter weather to establishing a real-time odor monitoring and response capability, the Landfill team has chosen to do the right thing for our community at every step. As a result, Bridgeton Landfill is and will remain in a managed state, and the site has become an industry model for responsible landfill management.”