NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 30, 2013

Landfill odors back again

NEWBURYPORT — As residents of the Crow Lane neighborhood once again deal with the pungent odors of hydrogen sulfide wafting from the Crow Lane landfill, Mayor Donna Holaday reached out to the state Department of Environmental Protection as the city continues to work toward a complete capping.

For the past several days, neighbors have logged complaints with the landfill owner, New Ventures, and chronicled their experiences in an email list to city and state officials and residents. The smell — similar to rotten eggs — emerges around 8 a.m. and then later in the evening for a couple of hours until the winds change direction, said Wildwood Drive resident Ron Klodenski yesterday.

For years, the Crow Lane neighborhood has been plagued by the smells of hydrogen sulfide emitting from the privately owned landfill. The pungent odor causes sleepless nights, as well as a variety of health ailments, including headaches, nausea, itchy eyes and sore throats. The presence of the odors has forced residents to cancel cookouts and family visits and ruined holidays.

The landfill was purchased in 2000 by the company New Ventures with the plan of closing it by heaping tons of demolition debris on top and capping it. Since then, city officials have been working to get it to the point of closure — a lengthy battle between the city and the landfill owner that at times has led to court action.

After a decade of complaining, Klodenski said he understands how his neighbors might be getting a little wary of calling in reports, but doing so is the only way to notify city officials that the problem is back, he said. “They don’t know otherwise,” he said.

Earlier this week, the stench grew so bad that his wife had to leave to get some relief, Klodenski said. When the odors emerge from 10 p.m. to after midnight like on Tuesday, he said, she can’t do that.

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