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BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) – A spokesman for the Bridgeton landfill calls it an emergency discharge to prevent a spill, but the bottom line is that extremely smelly, black liquid and harmful gasses buried within the burning dump were pumped into the open on a day when air monitoring systems weren't working.

The fluid was released last Sunday and Monday. In helicopter video released last Wednesday, you can see a worker with a vacuum truck sucking the fluid out of a lined ditch on the landfill's property.

The landfill's spokesman said extreme odors were caused by a breakdown with the gas extraction system. Three of the four flares designed to burn off potentially harmful gasses went down last Monday. Both caused some untreated gas to leak.

However, he never mentioned the fluid release to NewsChannel 5 or the Pattonville Fire Protection District. The assistant chief said he hadn't learned about the fluid release until a conference call Monday morning.

The landfill's spokesman said the company did issue an odor release – which mentioned the problems with the gas extraction system. People in Bridgeton, however, argue that it wasn't enough.

The Department of Natural Resources also knew about the release, but made no public mention of it until NewsChannel 5 asked about it on Monday.

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