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Monck's Corner Factory Causing a Stink

 

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

"The smell is indescribable. It's horrendous. It's intolerable. It's unacceptable. It's absolutely disrupted our way of life," Daniel Barb said.

Barb lives with his family just across the street from GenEarth just off of Oakley Road in Moncks Corner.  According to its website, GenEarth is an environmentally friendly company that works to dispose of waste water, food processing wastes and products of food service businesses.

The facility has been in the neighborhood for more than a year.  It's making neighbors, like Barb, consider moving to other areas. The problem is, he claims the smell will keep people from buying his home.

"It's at the point where we don't know what to do because we don't want to live here no more," he said. "Who's going to buy my home? They don't want to buy my home because they don't want to live in the smell either."

GenEarth claims to be creating enough power to bring electricity to 1,000 homes.  Others claim the plant is keeping them from enjoying the acres of land that surround many of the properties in the rural area.

"We can't enjoy our outside lives," Tammy Haselden said. "We're outside people, and we can't deal with it any longer. You come outside and it's like, 'Wham!' you're walking into a sewer treatment plant."

The facility recevied a permit from the Department of Health and Environmental Control back in June 2013.  According to documents attached to the permit, the plant must control any odors emitting from the facility.  The permit states the plant cannot have odors that affect, "the health or welfare of the people," or "enjoyment of life or affected property."

Barb claims the factory is affecting his children's lives and the life of his rental business.

"We own rental property over here, and we have tenants that rent from us," he said. "We've already had one tenant break a lease."

News 2 reached out to DHEC Monday afternoon.  Officials released a statement which said, "We are currently working through a process with the permitted facility related to odor at the facility as well as at is nearby land application sites."

Moncks Corner officials said they have received dozens of complaints from people in the area, but the only agency in charge of overseeing the problem is DHEC.

According to the Moncks Corner Town Administrator, Berkeley County owns the land the facility is using.  Officials with the county did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.

GenEarth said they have recently begun spraying nearby fields with byprodcuts from the factory.  They said they have received a number of complaints but, "[their] goal is to be a good neighbor, and [they are] working hard to minimize the odor."

Despite the attempts to fix the problem, Barb said more needs to be done.

" It's 2014," he said. "I think there's got to be a way to control that type of odor. There's got to be a way to do something about to where it's not such a devastating impact on the community in terms of the odor."

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV:

 

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