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.
Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Missouri, is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
Credit (Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)
The small town of Labadie is about 35 miles west of St. Louis. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation,” showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill. (Ameren Missouri website)
Shift supervisor Jim Dean stands in front of one of the Labadie power plant’s four turbines. He has worked at the plant since 1976. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
A diagram of Ameren’s proposed landfill site. (Ameren Missouri)
The approximate locations of drinking water wells in Franklin County. (Map created for the Labadie Environmental Organization based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data)
Ameren has already purchased 1,100 acres of agricultural land next to its power plant in Labadie and plans to build a 400 acre coal ash landfill on the site. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
Front Street is Labadie&#039;s “Main Street.&quot; (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
Fourteen dedicated trains make the seven-day trip from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to bring coal to Ameren’s power plant in Labadie. The plant burns two train loads of coal every day. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation”, showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill near Labadie, Missouri.
Credit (Ameren Missouri website)
A Google satellite view of the coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Mo. In this view you can see the section of land (as denoted in the previous image) where Ameren would like to build the coal-ash landfill.