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More Safeguards Sought to Prevent Spread of Landfill Fire

Veronique LaCapra
St. Louis Public Radio

  Regulators in Missouri are ordering more safeguards and a backup plan at the Bridgeton Landfill, where smoldering waste sits near discarded nuclear material.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said temperatures have gradually increased over several months near a line of equipment meant to control the fire's spread.

An underground smoldering fire has burned for over four years in the southern portion of the closed landfill. The state and the landfill's owner, municipal waste services giant Republic Services, have been able to keep the fire thus far from spreading to the north end of the landfill.

It's important to regulators and Republic because the north quarry is connected to the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill.

Republic has maintained the fire is under control.

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