BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – City leaders in both Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia collectively approved a settlement to a lawsuit centered around the Virginia city’s landfill.

On Monday night, city councils in both cities unanimously approved the $300,000 settlement to be paid to Bristol, Tennessee. The one-time payment is not the only term of the settlement.

In addition to payment, Bristol, Virginia must also stop adding trash and waste to its quarry landfill and obtain approval from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to close the site.

Bristol, Virginia must also continue to monitor air quality until a cover has been placed over the landfill.

The settlement was first announced Friday as a potential end to the ongoing legal battle between sister cities. Bristol, Tennessee first filed the lawsuit in May 2022.

The Virginia attorney general’s office is also suing Bristol, Virginia over the landfill due to claims that it has violated multiple environmental laws.

Leaders in both cities said the settlement is an important step in improving the relationship between the two cities.

“I am glad we are here today, and we can move forward,” said Bristol, Tennessee Mayor Vince Turner.

Bristol, Virginia Mayor Neal Osborne described the settlement as “a net positive for both cities.”

“Now we’ve come to an agreement, and we’re moving forward with a united front,” Osborne said.

Bristol, Tennessee leaders and residents of both cities said the landfill’s closure is the most exciting part of the settlement.

“The whole reason we’re here today is to finish up where we started and to get it fixed, once and for all, and close,” said Turner. “That’s been our goal the entire time.”

Members of the advocacy group HOPE for Bristol also emphasized the importance of closing the landfill.

“Tonight we can all sleep easier knowing that this disaster is over,” said president and Bristol, Tennessee resident Joel Kellogg. “There will never ever be a chance that it will ever open again.”

HOPE for Bristol member Chris Knupp said of the settlement, “permanent closure is the most exciting.”

Group leaders say they plan to stay active as a watchdog.

“We’ll be keeping an eye on this landfill and we’ll be keeping an eye on the landfill owner, to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Kellogg.

Bristol, Virginia is already working to meet standards set by VDEQ to close the landfill.

“We’re working every day to get our large diameter wells drilled and move forward with the timeline to meet all the requirements set forth by DEQ,” said Osborne.