What’s that smell?; Jefferson Twp. community concerned about odor coming from industrial facility

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — Some Jefferson Township residents have expressed their concern about smells coming from a nearby industrial treatment facility.

The facility processes industrial wastewater that often contains hazardous materials.

Neighbors said the facility was a source of air pollution a few years ago until some residents sued the company.

As a result, controls were put in place, an “odor hotline” was set up and pollution decreased.

This was until recently when residents reported an increase in odors and emissions they said are impacting their quality of life.

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“It’s a really musty smell, but the order is really strong,” Shelia Black, Jefferson Township Trustee said.

They said they have a problem that just plain stinks.

“And it’s not something somebody would want to smell. That’s all I have to tell you,” Marian Perry said.

Over the past couple of months, Jefferson Township administrators said they have been getting more and more complaints — some residents even said it’s impacting their health.

“The smells are horrible. It affected my breathing,” Cindy Everetts-Lawson said.

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On top of complaints, the plant is being sold to new ownership, Valicor.

News Center 7 reached out to the company for comment, and they replied:

“Valicor is committed to safely managing spent materials for its clients in this region and all areas in which it operates. As the new owner of this facility, we are committed to working collaboratively with local officials to ensure safe, compliant operations for our employees, clients and surrounding communities, which is our highest priority.”

Township officials and neighbors said they want to meet with the new owners about their renewed concerns over an old problem.

“We want to make sure that this company understands that we need them to be good neighbors,” Laura Rench said.

The township and a community group said they are planning on having a sit-down meeting with the new ownership next month.

News Center 7 will keep following this developing story and update as new information becomes available.

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