BRIDGETON, Mo. – Results were announced Friday from the third round of carbon monoxide testing at Bridgeton Landfill, conducted by the landfill team.
Announced in a news release from Bridgeton Landfill, the North Quarry, which is closest to the radioactive materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill, is not affected by the subsurface smoldering event in the South Quarry. Landfill officials say CO was "non-detectable" in 26 North Quarry wells in May, registering below the reporting indicator of 1,000 ppm.
The results mean the underground fire hasn't moved toward the radioactive material that was dumped at West Lake in the 1970s. The underground smoldering has been going on for years, causing awful smells to pollute surrounding areas. Residents feared the smolder was spreading and may have reached the radioactive waste.
In January, the first round of CO monitoring took samples from 25 gas wells throughout the North Quarry and the results showed all 25 wells were below 1,000 ppm, with non-detectable levels in 19 of the 25 wells.
READ: Monthly data submittals
The second round of monitoring took place in March, and results from that round found CO to be non-detectable in 23 of 26 wells. All CO levels were below 1,000 ppm.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been working for months to find a spot to build a barrier to keep the fire from reaching the waste.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster took the landfill's owners to court in January to force them to release the CO data.
Pattonville Fire Protection District's Assistant chief says Friday's news is good for the surrounding community.
"You have to keep in mind that we're dealing with something that requires a timeframe, and that isolation barrier wall has not been, the construction has not started yet," said Asst. Chief Matt LaVanchy.
Republic Services and Koster will be back in a St. Louis County courtroom next week to further discuss the CO data and any other issues going on at the landfill.
A spokesperson for Bridgeton Landfill, LLC said Friday:
The results from the third round of scientific testing on the Bridgeton Landfill area closest to the radiological materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill should strongly reassure residents that Bridgeton Landfill's smolder in its south quarry is not moving toward West Lake. Carbon monoxide is one of the primary indicators to identify an SSE reaction. None was detected by the tests.
These results were included in the Landfill's monthly report filed today with the Missouri Attorney General, MDNR and St. Louis County.
Below is a map of all the gas extraction wells at the Bridgeton Landfill. The colored dots in the South Quarry represent wells with high levels of CO present. The purple dots in the North Quarry represent wells with normal levels of CO.
High levels of CO are a sign of the underground fire.