Waste dumps from a dog food manufacturer in Calhoun County are causing a major stench in a subdivision near White Plains.
The county and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) intervened and claimed the matter was resolved. But nearby residents aren’t so sure.
The stench originated from a farm whose owners allowed Cherokee Environmental Resources to dump sludge from FITCO. Sludge, an animal byproduct, acted as fertilizer to help grow hay, saving farmers thousands of dollars. was not worth enough to affect daily life.
“It’s resilient,” says Mike Robbourne, who has lived in Mountain View for 10 years.
Lovvorn and other residents have complained to county leaders and ADEM about the odor since August. Calhoun County Commissioner Danny Sears said he heard about it and began investigating what was causing the odor. We realized that there was not much we could do.
“From a county standpoint, so to speak, our hands were tied,” Sears said. “There is no county book ordinance on odors.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has given Cherokee Environmental Resources a permit to dump this material on farms. They had to fill out paperwork, got permission, and set to work. ”
In the meantime, the residents said they could not go outside. Some of the complaints filed with his ADEM by Mountain View residents claimed that the smell made them nauseous or had stomach problems. Others said their allergies were getting worse and their quality of life was affected.
After growing up and working on the farm, Lovvorn knew that it smelled much worse than regular fertilizer.
“I had to close the garage door in a hurry so it wouldn’t break into the house,” explained Lovvorn. “…when I first smelled it, I thought there was a dead animal right by the garage, so I was looking for a carcass or something, but beyond the dead smell, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s my mouth. In!’ I had to pull my shirt up to my nose.”
Shears said Stewart contacted ADEM about the complaint and ADEM responded after a second visit.
“When they did a follow-up visit, they could smell it and a few other things showed up, so it was actually written about seven violations from ADEM.
After the violation was reported, Sears said it learned from the Cherokee Environmental that they had plans to withdraw from Calhoun County.
“I’m for business,” added Shears. “I own two businesses. I’m all for business and I know this stuff has to go somewhere. Have they ever smelled .”
Shears held a conference to speak to constituencies about the move. But Lovvorn said the odor worsened after residents were told the waste was being moved.
“They were all happy and said they were leaving. They were packing up for the meeting and talking politics to us,” Robbourne said. “But the next day it smelled worse than it had before. It was like, ‘I showed it to everyone!’
Time will tell if the sludge will be removed, but neither FITCO nor Cherokee Environmental Resources responded to media requests from 1819 News. spokesperson declined to comment because “we don’t trust the media to report honestly.”
Now residents of Cleburne and northern Randolph counties are growing concerned about where the sludge will end up next. Shears thinks the waste he falls between Hollis Crossroads and Wedowee. He said the farm has been used for the same purpose before and should be kept away from residential areas.
“I think the gentlemen at both FITCO and the Cherokee Environmental are doing everything they can to reduce this smell, but it smells awful and unfortunately it’s too close to residential areas here. I did,” Sears said.
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