Bryan Cohen May 15, 2013, 5:40pm

ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Tuesday announced an agreement with the operators of the Bridgeton Landfill to control the landfill's odor and implement safeguards to improve the quality of life for nearby residents.

Under the terms of the first agreed order with Republic Services Inc., Allied Services LLC, doing business as Republic Services of Bridgeton, and Bridgeton Landfill LLC, the landfill's operators will provide temporary accommodations for residents most affected by the odor and reimburse state agencies for continuous sampling and monitoring of the ground and air at the site.

Republic also must complete remedial work on an established schedule to facilitate the placement of a new landfill cap that will capture and destroy odorous gases.

"Through this legally binding agreement Republic has committed to immediate corrective action at the Bridgeton Landfill," Koster said in a statement. "This includes controlling the offensive odor and implementing safeguards that protect the safety and quality of life for nearby residents and workers at the landfill."

Republic started to notify residents of a lodging program May 7, including extended hotel accommodations during the excavation work. Residents wishing to stay with family and friends will be provided $125 per week of displacement.

"The safety of nearby residents and workers at the Bridgeton Landfill, as well as the protection of natural resources at and around the site are of paramount concern to the state," the attorney general said.

"This agreement provides the state the authority to ensure that Republic completes remedial work and manages the site in a way that addresses our concerns. (The agreement represents) the first step in addressing the immediate and long-term issues raised by conditions at the site."

Koster filed a lawsuit March 27 against the operators of the landfill, alleging violations of Missouri environmental laws. Since that time, his office has negotiated with Republic to address the state's concerns.

"This agreement puts in place a legally enforceable framework for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to direct Republic to take immediate steps to combat the spread of the fire," Koster said. "Such steps may include the drilling of additional interceptor wells, the installation of additional temperature probes, complete capping of the North Quarry, and ultimately -- if necessary -- the construction of a physical barrier between the fire and the radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill."

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