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Environmental issues in Missouri are complicated. Communities along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are experiencing worse and more frequent floods. People living near toxic waste sites are dealing with the stress of waiting for contamination to be cleaned up. And to top it off, climate change is adversely affecting the health and economy for city residents and rural communities.St. Louis Public Radio keeps you informed of the most pressing environmental issues in the state and presents the voices of people who are most affected by them.

In Response To Landfill Stench, Company To Cover Hotel Stays For Bridgeton Residents

Bridgeton Landfill Republic Services DSC_0040.JPG
Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

During that period, work to remove concrete pipes at the landfill is expected to cause odors to worsen.

Residents of Spanish Village, the Terrisan Reste Mobile Home Community and a section of the Carrollton Village Condominiums who received the offer but choose to stay with friends or family instead will be paid $125 a week.

At the end of March, Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against Republic Services alleging eight violations of state environmental laws.

An underground fire has been smoldering at the landfill since late 2010. The fire intensified in January, releasing foul-smelling, potentially toxic fumes. Residents living more than three miles away from the landfill have complained of the smells.

Exposure to the fumes can cause headaches, irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and aggravate respiratory diseases like asthma.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter@KWMUScience

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