We have been blogging about the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri. The St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the concern residents have is shared by St. Louis County and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has updated their website with information for residents regarding the ongoing compliance issues related to the off-site odors that is creating a public nuisance for residents. However, according to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment the unwillingness to more directly address questions and concerns was troubling.
The Post article also quotes a contractor that was hired by Republic Services who did air sampling. He determined that there were no levels that would cause a health concern to the surrounding community. That may be true, but the levels may still be high enough to cause physical reactions, annoyance, discomfort or loss of enjoyment of your property. For example, hydrogen sulfide has a low odor threshold, meaning you can smell a horrible rotten-egg odor in very low levels. According to the CDC, "[e]xposure 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." Even low level exposure to the gas may mean that owners of property affected by the noxious may have a nuisance claim.