Bryan Cohen Mar. 28, 2013, 5:50pm

ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the owner of the St. Louis County-based Bridgeton Landfill after allegedly violating multiple state environmental laws in the operation of the facility.

Republic Services Inc. allegedly violated Missouri's air, hazardous waste, clean water and solid waste laws by allowing an underground landfill fire at the Bridgeton facility to intensify since January.

"The nearby residents, schools, senior care facilities and a local hospital all have dealt with terrible, ongoing odor problems from the Bridgeton Landfill that have impacted their ability to go about normal activities," Koster said.

In addition to addressing the odor issues and environmental violations, the lawsuit seeks to provide remedies for local residents and businesses dealing with the ongoing effects of the burning waste.

"For St. Louisans who have not been directly exposed to the site, it is difficult to describe the effects this situation is having on local neighborhoods and businesses," Koster said. "While we have been assured by Republic Services that they have developed a remediation plan and are implementing that plan as expeditiously as possible, it is important that we ensure the corporation's promises are binding and enforceable in a court of law."

Koster's lawsuit also seeks to make sure that Republic pays for the costs of experts hired by the Department of Natural Resources to perform intensive and ongoing environmental testing, not Missouri taxpayers. The DNR committed to sharing the analysis and test results with the public as soon as possible.

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