BRISTOL, Va. — A Richmond judge has signed the consent decree reached by the Virginia Attorney General’s office, Virginia DEQ and attorneys for the city of Bristol Virginia, formalizing the agreement.
On Tuesday the attorney general’s office issued a written statement following the action of Judge Clarence Jenkins to enter the decree into the public record in Richmond Circuit Court. The proposed settlement was finalized in March and announced March 23.
“I’ve traveled to Bristol, talked to Virginians and our neighbors in Tennessee firsthand about the issue caused by the Bristol landfill,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in the statement. “I’m thrilled that my office has been able to reach an agreement with the city of Bristol, which will bring relief and solutions to the community. Additionally, because this consent decree has been signed by the court, it will hold the city accountable to the promises they’ve made.”
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Last month the Department of Environmental Quality announced the proposed settlement agreement with the city, outlining steps the city must take to resolve landfill environmental challenges and a series of fines if deadlines are not met.
On March 17, the Commonwealth of Virginia, DEQ Director Michael Rolband, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board, the Virginia Waste Management Board and the city of Bristol, Virginia filed a motion to enter a judicial consent decree memorializing the terms of a negotiated settlement to resolve issues at the Bristol landfill, DEQ announced March 23.
“We are pleased to hear Judge Jenkins has made the Bristol landfill consent decree official,” DEQ Director Rolband said in the Tuesday statement. “It culminates a long process and shows the dedication from both DEQ and the office of the Attorney General to assure the citizens of Bristol that we will not stop until this issue is resolved. There is a lot more work that needs to be done on-site, but we can pause to celebrate this step in the process.”
The consent decree holds the City of Bristol accountable for many steps regarding the Bristol landfill and is designed to help improve landfill and area living conditions.
The city is currently halfway through implementing the sidewall odor mitigation system to help address the complaints about foul odors. The deadline for completion is June 14 and the city is on track to meet that deadline, according to the statement.
The city has also submitted the Ethyl Vinyl Alcohol cover system deployment plan. The cover would tie into the liner of the landfill, according to the statement. The landfill stormwater management plan is due April 30.
Drilling started the week of March 27th. The city is drilling 31 additional wells total to remove both gas and liquids from the landfill.
The city is also required to submit monthly compliance reports and the March report is due April 10.
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