BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - You might not see it from the street, but you can probably smell it... at least that's what some say.
Locals say there's a smell emitting from a landfill off Highway 77 and Florida DEP officials say they're keeping an eye on it. (WJHG/WECP)
Brandi Lowe, a local business employee on Highway 77, said, "There is a really bad smell in this neighborhood. We have customers coming in and complaining thinking that it's our dumpsters at our store and it isn't."
The Waste Pro Southport Construction and Demolition Landfill is located across the street from Deane Bozeman School. Officials with Bay District Schools say they haven't noticed a problem, but locals disagree.
"A lot of the kids that come in from the games and stuff and the kids do complain a lot during the day, mostly our football players," said Lowe.
The issue dates back to January when locals started smelling a problem. The landfill was required to implement an Odor Remediation Plan which it did, but now, eight months later the smell still lingers.
During a July complaint investigation inspection, Florida Department of Environmental Protection inspectors noted objectionable off-site odor and landfill areas that needed more coverage.
When asked if the odors being emitted could they be harmful for people to inhale, DEP Northwest District Director, Shawn Hamilton, said, "Well, I guess if the concentrations were such that's a possibility, most of the odor concentrations we're seeing are low. One of the things to keep in mind--the Odor Remediation Plan actually had an H2S meter installed at the perimeter of the site."
Waste Pro sent us a statement saying, "Our on-site staff states that a few weeks back there was an on-site and off-site smell coming from ground wood mulch. The piles went through a heat cycle and generated some odor. We spread the mulch and within a couple days the material aired out. For the last few weeks there has been no on-site or off-site orders detected.
We have had two DEP inspections since we spread the mulch, and the inspectors agreed that they did not detect off site odor on both occasions."
Still, residents have one request.
"Just please fix it as soon as possible. I mean, I know you're busy, everybody's busy, just for the sake of the people--help," said local residents Jaron Sapp.
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