by Brandie Piper
BRIDGETON, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed an injunction Monday asking for more aggressive monitoring of the Bridgeton Landfill after benzene gas was detected Saturday. Koster wants additional odor control, better monitoring of the site, and more air control measures.
“The release of benzene by Republic into the environment at the Bridgeton Landfill is unacceptable. Despite the order Republic agreed to more than a year ago, the company still does not appear to have the situation under control. My office is asking the court to compel Republic to take additional steps to prevent any such future release of hazardous material into the air,” Koster said in a news release.
RELATED: What you need to know about benzene
According to the American Cancer Society, benzene is known to cause cancer.
During a landfill conference call Monday with the St. Louis County Health Department, comments forwarded to NewsChannel 5 by Health Department spokesman Craig LeFebvre, said the MDNR Mobile Unit detected 250 ppb of gas at the southern slope of the landfill with the area ray.
Further the notes said the “duration was estimated to be less than fifteen minutes” and it could not be detected with the multi-ray, the next level of monitoring. She says nothing out of the ordinary was going on at the landfill at the time of the benzene detection.
According to LeFebvre, the Pattonville Fire Department was notified and MDNR is following up with the operators of the landfill.
A spokesperson for Bridgeton Landfill, LLC released the following statement:
We are puzzled by the basis for the Attorney General’s actions. Follow-up tests by MDNR and our site team, using five different detectors, were unable to confirm the initial detection. Both our site team and MDNR concluded that the single elevated reading was unconfirmed. That is not a very good foundation for an injunction.