Lordstown residents fed up with landfill stench

LAFARGE-LANDFILL-STILL-LORDSTOWN

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Lafarge-owned Lordstown Construction Recovery landfill takes construction trash, so many wouldn’t think that would smell.

But wet dry wall? It stinks, and neighbors say they can smell it.

On Wednesday, those neighbors got together for a community meeting with Lafarge officials to talk about how they can combat the stench emanating from the Palmyra Road landfill, which is one of a thousand facilities owned by the cement and concrete maker.

Those neighbors say that they are worried about their health, and some were not satisfied with the answers that they received.

“I want to find out what they are doing, and it doesn’t seem like I really got any answers,” said Mark Fulmar.

Over the past year, the Ohio EPA, Trumbull County Health Department and the Mahoning-Trumbull Air Pollution Control Agency have received more than 90 odor complaints from those living in the vicinity of the construction and demolition debris landfill at 6205 Palmyra Road.

The EPA says, along with frequent monitoring and inspections, the agencies have been working with the facility to correct the problem.

“We’ll go out once we get a complaint and do inspections, and once those areas are verified, we can write violations,” said Ohio EPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce.

Lafarge received four violations this year. The violations center around the smell caused by wet drywall, which releases hydrogen sulfide gas, leaving a rotten egg smell.

Fulmar said the problem is not continuous, but it is noticeable.

“The smell is not there continually. It’s on certain days,” he said. “I noticed if it’s very cold, you won’t smell much.”

“It makes you want to puke. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not good,” resident Ellen Dingus said.

Despite the odor, the Ohio EPA says the smell is not a health risk.

“The levels we’re getting right now are more of a nuisance, and we haven’t had them rise to a level that would be a health concern,” Pierce said.

LaFarge is taking some steps to rectify the problem. The company has put a clay cap over the north end of the plant, which covers about 20 acres. The cap keeps water from coming into the landfill and generating the odor.

The company said if that doesn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board with a new plan.

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