Missouri regulators have ordered Republic Services Inc., to install additional monitors at Bridgeton Landfill to track the fire's movement.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ordered three additional temperature monitors in the neck of the landfill.
The monitors are said to better track movement of the smoldering fire underground that has been burning for nearly three years. The same fire is making its way towards illegally dumped radioactive waste located at nearby West Lake Landfill. It is less than 1,000 feet from that site.
Chris Nagel, DNR's director of its Solid Waste Management Program, said the most recent set of data submitted to the state last week showed increased temperatures and carbon monoxide readings in the neck of the landfill.
In the letter Nagel states the elevated readings indicate the smoldering fire continues to progress toward and potentially impact the first row of gas interceptor wells and other landfill infrastructure.
"Any further delay in installation of these (probes) may result in conditions, including increased pressure and saturation of waste mass, which could complicate or prevent future installation and result in inadequate monitoring in this area," Nagel said.
He also notes a realized data gap in the locations where DNR is requesting additional monitors.
"During recent discussions between the Department and Republic Services, there has been an identified data gap in the area along the east and west walls of the neck," he said. "This gap necessitates improved monitoring to ensure adequate tracking of any northern SSE (fire) movement."
When DNR settled with Republic earlier in the year, a contingency plan it agreed upon said the department could make such demands should it be deem a necessity.
The letter was posted to DNR's website Wednesday morning, August 28, 2013. Click here to read it in its entirety.
This is one of the first signs of urgency the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has expressed about the situation since it became very evident the fire was problem in need of serious regulatory oversight.