We had previously blogged that officials were working to reduce the amount of methane at the landfill, but that was not abating the odor problem. Fredericksburg.com is now reporting that recent tests showed that the amount of hydrogen sulfide generated by the landfill was 32 times higher than what is typically found in landfill waste. The culprit is in coal ash that the landfill had been accepting. The coal ash was treated with a sulfur compound. Typically that in itself is harmless, but when mixed with other landfill waste, hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell, is formed. From May, 2007 to June, 2010, almost 211,000 tons of coal-ash was dumped into the landfill, according to the Virginia DEQ.
Hydrogen sulfide presents as a horrible rotten egg odor even in tiny amounts. According to the CDC, exposure to low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide may cause irritation to the eyes, nose, or throat. It may also cause difficulty in breathing for some asthmatics. It is perfectly normal to smell this when standing next to a landfill. When people living miles from the landfill are smelling rotten eggs, it shows that the landfill is not being maintained properly.
We do not represent anyone at the King George County, Virginia site. However, we represent hundreds of similarly situated people in the United States in various landfill and environmental litigation. To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with an environmental contamination lawsuit, contact environmental lawyer Todd Hageman toll free or via e-mail.