BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — After the City of Bristol, Tennessee filed a lawsuit against the neighboring Bristol city in Virginia, leaders across the state line announced Friday that they had proposed a settlement.
Bristol, Tennessee’s lawsuit alleged that its sister city had violated the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and had created a public nuisance as a result of the odors created by the landfill. Part of the lawsuit sought to make Bristol, Virginia cease the intake of waste at the landfill and heed the recommendations of an Expert Panel that recently visited the landfill at the request of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The offered settlement entails that the City of Bristol, Virginia will comply with the Clean Air Act “as soon as practicable,” by stopping outside commercial waste from reaching the landfill after it is contoured and by developing a report on plans within 120 days of the City of Bristol, Tennessee agreeing to the settlement.
In an interview Friday afternoon, Bristol, Tennessee Director of Community Relations Jon Luttrell said his office and legal counsel are currently reviewing the proposed settlement before they take any next steps.
“There’s without question been a huge detriment to the quality of life throughout the community,” Luttrell said. “Really, we just want to see the issues corrected, and we want to see the landfill closed.”
The proposed settlement also includes compensation of $250,000 to Bristol, Tennessee for litigation, including “reasonable attorneys’ and expert witness fees.” The City of Bristol, Virginia proposed installing a “sidewall odor mitigation system” around the landfill, which may call for funds from the state and federal governments.
Other propositions include the following:
- The installation and monitoring of a thermocouples system to monitor the landfill’s temperatures, which may entail state and federal funding
- “Adequately” covering the landfill
- Bristol, Tennessee would have to acknowledge that Bristol, Virginia needs to find funding sources to meet the recommendations of the Expert Panel
“Bristol, Virginia is looking forward to resolving this litigation, as being in the best interest of all the citizens, and moving forward as a united community in the future,” the offered settlement states.
The proposed settlement followed a day after the City of Bristol, Tennessee announced it is suing Bristol, Virginia over the ongoing landfill issue, which has been an issue in the city since the fall of 2020.
News Channel 11 reached out to Bristol, Virginia city officials, but none were available to do an on-camera interview Friday.