Landfill Odor Complaints

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental
An XL insured landfill was issued violations by the state regulatory agency for an alleged failure to maintain their landfill gas collection system. The insured also received odor complaints from neighboring residents. A lawsuit was filed by the neighboring hotel claiming significant loss of business due to customer odor complaints. A second lawsuit was filed by the town itself alleging the odors had detrimentally affected a planned residential/commercial development. The local water authority also filed a cease and desist order against the landfill for methane vapors in off-site manholes.
XL’s environmental claims counsel and a technical consultant worked with the insured through the maze of claims facing them. XL’s claims counsel retained local defense counsel to represent the insured. The insured entered into a consent order with the state requiring the installation of new landfill gas extraction wells and related equipment. An additional order was issued to remediate conditions that caused off-site migration of odor and gas.
Repairs were made to the system and it was determined that the odors were caused by a subsurface fire. The fire was extinguished. An impermeable liner was installed over a section of the landfill to better control odors. Additional upgrades were made to the gas collection system including installation of a flare system.
XL paid over $1,000,000 under the insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy for the installation of a perimeter gas extraction system/off-site subsurface gas migration and temporary odor control measures. As a result, the town dismissed its lawsuit. XL paid over $8,000,000 under the same policy to settle the lawsuit with the hotel.

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