BRIDGETON, MO (KMOX) – When they start digging into the burning Bridgeton landfill Monday, state officials have warned the smell plaguing nearby neighborhoods could get worse. Now an environmental group wants state and federal agencies to do a better job telling the public what’s in the air.

Kat Logan Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment says the Missouri Department of Natural Resources still has not released comprehensive air monitoring data it began gathering at the site in April.

“We’ve been told time and time again ‘it’s bad, it’s bad, it will be worse,'” she said. “Then we were told it will be significantly worse. So the issue is, could you please tell everybody what we’re breathing in now so we can kind of gauge what ‘worse’ might be?”

There’s also frustration that the Environmental Protection Agency has not released data from a flyover its radiation monitoring plane did in April. The same kind of plane is used to test for radiation at presidential inaugurations and the Super Bowl but the EPA says that data will not be released for two to three weeks.

“What is it about the data that requires, you know, 40, 60, 90 days of quality control testing because if you actually had that plane flying over to detect for radioactive terrorism kind of situations, I know for sure they wouldn’t be taking this much time?” Smith questioned.

A call to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Thursday was not returned.

“Some of the things that could be coming out of that landfill are pretty powerful chemicals and carcinogens,” Smith added. “One of the ones we’re too familiar with here in St. Louis [is] dioxin.”


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