The company that owns the Bridgeton Landfill is offering to cover the cost of hotel stays for nearby residents who want to get away from the smell.
On Tuesday, Republic Services sent a letter to 270 households within a one-mile radius of the landfill, saying the company would pay for residents to move to a pet-friendly hotel between May 20 and June 14.
A fire has been smoldering underground at the Bridgeton landfill for more than two years. People living in the area have complained of strong chemical smells, and of symptoms including burning eyes and headaches.
Earlier this month, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources tested the air there for toxic chemicals. The DNR took samples on two separate days at six sites near the landfill, including some in a residential area.
Ameren's plant near Labadie, Mo. sits in the Missouri River bottoms. Some area residents are opposed to the company's plan to build a 400-acre landfill next to the plant in order to store leftover coal ash.
Labadie, Mo. is a town about 35 miles from St. Louis that might be described as “quaint” and “quiet.” But for the past two years, a controversy between some town residents and Ameren Missouri, an electric company that has a power plant situated in the Missouri River bottoms near Labadie, has sparked a lively local discourse. It concerns the ash that’s leftover from burning coal at the plant. Johanna Mayer has this report.