BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The mayor of Bristol, Virginia says all options are on the table after the release of a state report on the city’s problem-plagued landfill.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on Monday released the panel’s final report regarding the odor problems at the landfill.
The panel recommended the City of Bristol Virginia “strongly consider” stopping waste disposal operations at the city’s landfill while actions are taken to mitigate odors coming from the facility.
Tuesday night, Mayor Anthony Farnum said Bristol, Virginia city staff are still combing through the lengthy report and weighing options.
“Really right now all options are on the table,” Farnum said. “We need to be open and transparent to be able to figure out what’s the best step going forward. So we’re going to listen to experts and move forward as best we can.”
Farnum said he’s optimistic after reading the panel’s conclusion that the landfill could be capped and closed before it reaches the rim of the abandoned quarry wall.
And he revealed the city has spent millions to address the landfill crisis and is planning to potentially spend millions more.
“Since we’ve been having issues with the Bristol landfill, the city has spent a little bit more than $3 million so far,” he said. “Going forward, we’re budgeting for millions more to be spent at the landfill which is unfortunate but it’s something that has to be taken care of. It has to be fixed.”
Farnum also said he supports the expert panel’s recommendation to communicate with community groups. He specifically mentioned the group Hope For Bristol as having been helpful.
“I think it’s very important as we go forward to try to work together,” Farnum said. “We need to work together with them to move forward as a community.”