BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – Tennessee Senator Jon Lundberg recently spoke on the smell emitting from the Bristol, Virginia landfill.
Lundberg told News Channel 11 he gets calls and texts every day from people about the landfill odor, and he has been in contact with the Tennessee Attorney General, Dept. of Environment, Diana Harshbarger and many more concerning the issue.
“Ultimately, I think what needs to happen is that needs to close,” Lundberg said. “And, unfortunately, Bristol, Virginia is in a difficult financial spot right now. I think, with the debt they’ve got just on the facilities, about $35 million, and to close it would take another $50 million. They can’t afford that, Obviously, Tennessee, we can’t send money to another state, but the federal government can help move that forward.”
Lundberg says that he cannot imagine what those close to the landfill are experiencing on a daily basis.
Lundberg also added that he is concerned with what is happening underneath Bristol with the groundwater, which he says affects both Tennessee and Virginia.
“It is going to take a lot of work from a lot of people, and, ultimately, it is going to take time. Hopefully, what they’re doing now, the remediation with the wells and burning that off, hopefully, we’ll see results relatively quickly, in the next week or two. That’s what the city is hoping for, and frankly, I think that is what everybody is hoping for,” Lundberg said.
In a post to social media, Lundberg said that he told Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger and Rep. Morgan Griffith that he believes the most effective action would be for the landfill to close and that doing so would require federal funding.
He also stated that he believes that the landfill has, or will, affect the water table in Bristol, Tenn, and has asked that the Tenn. Dept. of Health and Tenn. Dept. of Environment and Conservation monitor the air and water quality.
The City of Bristol, Tenn. has taken some steps to help residents live with the smell such as creating an air purifier assistance program that provides air purifiers to those impacted by the landfill’s smell.
The Bristol, Tenn. City Council recently voted to open possible legal action on the City of Bristol, Va. over the odor from the landfill. Bristol, Tenn. has also hired its own toxicologist to conduct an independent study of the landfill.