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Posted on: November 5, 2021

A statement regarding the ongoing community impacts of Bristol, VA landfill

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The Bristol, Tennessee City Council has heard the complaints of residents affected by odors and other emissions from the Bristol, Virginia landfill, including reports of adverse symptoms believed to be a result of exposure to these odors and emissions. City Council takes these concerns raised by its citizens very seriously. City Council is also concerned about the impact of the odors on the City’s own property, operations and duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. For these reasons, City Council is taking the following actions:

 First, we have reached an agreement with Bristol, Virginia to gain access to the landfill site in order to collect samples that will aid in conducting an independent public health assessment. Once the results of those samples are available and assessed, the City will hold a public meeting with Dr. Laura Green, an independent toxicologist. Dr. Green will share the findings of the public health assessment and address questions that community members may have. Additionally, a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the landfill and related environmental impacts is being compiled, and answers will be posted at bristoltn.org/BristolVAlandfill. This list of frequently asked questions will be updated as developments occur. This page will include notices about public meetings where the landfill will be a topic of discussion. 

Second, City Council is evaluating a number of measures to provide direct relief to individuals impacted by landfill gas odors. The City can already assist homeowners who meet eligibility criteria, including federal income limits, with HVAC system upgrades through the City’s existing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Repair Program. Further, the City is working with the state to vet a grant initiative to provide similar assistance to individuals not otherwise eligible for the CDBG program, and is exploring expanding grant-making efforts through community partners that could assist with the purchase of individual air purification units. As relief program details become available, information will be posted at bristoltn.org/BristolVAlandfill, along with all relevant eligibility and application information.

 It is this Council’s firm desire to explore every option within our power to provide relief to our residents, and to fully understand the scope of the landfill’s impacts on our public health. City Council is committed to continuing to work to resolve this situation, and looks forward to receiving Dr. Green’s public health assessment.

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