“‘Putrid’ landfill smell returns”

[The smell obviously is the least of their problems. This facility handles petro-chemical wastes, and people in the area obviously are breathing in fumes from those.]

In The Observer

ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP — Neighbours of Ontario’s only hazardous waste management facility say they feel betrayed after weeks of exposure to an intense odour that recently sent one man to hospital.

“Terrible doesn’t start to describe it,” he said. “I’m sick to death of this. It’s got to be against the law. It’s got to be public endangerment.”

Stenton said that for the sixth time in so many weeks, a “putrid” smell from Clean Harbors overwhelmed him on Sept. 15 at about 10 p.m.

“I got an instant headache, I became nauseous, I got the dry heaves. It’s the same thing as before. Same thing, different day.”

For the second time since Aug. 10, Stenton called paramedics. He also reported the stench to Ontario’s Spills Action line and phoned St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold, the local Ministry of Environment office and Clean Harbours.

“Clean Harbors promised to do more masking,” Stenton said, referring to the company’s use of sweet scented misters to cover the smell.

“I don’t want them to use any more snake oil over there. I want them to really do something about it,” Stenton fumed.

“I need real help here. I can’t go on for months and months like this.”

Paramedics took him to Bluewater Health’s CEE Hospital in Petrolia where he said blood tests were ordered.

“When I got back to my house at 4:30 a.m., the smell was gone outside but my entire house stunk. It’s awful. It’s in your hair, it’s in your clothing, it’s in the fabric of your furniture.”

Lori Vokes, spokesperson for a group of at least 12 neighbours who have repeatedly complained about the bad odour, said she also got a call from Stenton that night and drove to Petrolia Line to assess the problem.

“It was like hitting a wall,” she said. “It was so incredibly intense. I drove from Clean Harbors’ site on Telfer Road, about six kilometres to Fairweather Road, and I couldn’t believe it.

“It’s like you’re in a bad dream.”


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