BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent a letter to Bristol, Virginia Council members on Wednesday.

The letter was a summary of the meeting on Tuesday in which enforcement options and timelines for eliminating the odor coming from the Bristol, Virginia landfill were discussed.

The DEQ had previously dispatched an expert panel to Bristol to study the landfill and present recommendations for correcting the odor.

Since that time, the City of Bristol, Tennessee has filed a lawsuit against its sister city regarding violations related to the landfill. A settlement from Bristol, Virginia leaders has been proposed.

In its letter, the DEQ states that the topic of enforcement of an action plan on Bristol, Virginia’s part was discussed at its Tuesday meeting. The department stated that it expects a “potential fully executed enforcement action with the City, in August 2022 (at the earliest).”

“At present, DEQ understands that the City agrees in principle to enter into an Order and implementing the recommendations set forth within the April 25, 2022 Expert Panel’s report, which will additionally incorporate the City’s July 6, 2022 Plan of Action. The City has additionally committed to some initial activities and associated timelines that will be incorporated into their July 6, 2022 Plan of Action response,” the letter states.

Additional commitments for the city that will be part of the upcoming action plan include:

  • Installation of a sidewall odor mitigation system within 365 days
  • Installation of thermocouples in waste mass within 90 days
  • Ceasing acceptance of offsite commercial/industrial waste in SWP 588 within 90 days
  • Installation of adequate intermediate cover in accordance with Va. Solid Waste Management Regulations within 90 days

The letter can be read in its entirety below:

The letter adds that all parties will continue to negotiate the terms of a future order.