EPA provides update on cleanup of stinky Sylacauga facility - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

EPA provides update on cleanup of stinky Sylacauga facility

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Officials from the EPA met with residents Tuesday to discuss the clean up progress. Source: WBRC video Officials from the EPA met with residents Tuesday to discuss the clean up progress. Source: WBRC video
A resident reads a pamphlet at the meeting. Source: WBRC video A resident reads a pamphlet at the meeting. Source: WBRC video
SYLACAUGA, AL (WBRC) -

There's been a big stink in Sylacauga and now the government is involved with the clean up of REEF Environmental that's believed to be causing the stench.

Those who spoke with FOX6 after Tuesday's meeting feel as though the EPA and the other agencies involved are taking the necessary steps to eliminate the odor and other problems linked to a water system.

And tonight, there were potentially fatal problems some of the residents just found out about.

"If this released it would have been fatal to the Mill Village. If that didn't happen it would have sent a fire ball to Mill Village," David Andrews with the EPA said.

Andrews told a room of Sylacauga residents the concerns he has about a dome over parts of the treatment plant. Residents complained of the odor emitting from it but Andrews said it was far worse and "flat out dangerous."

Underneath these domes hydrogen sulfide gas was culminating and creating an odor and potentially fatal situation. Now, he and other experts are working to clear out the odor and everything attached to it.

"The only way that's going to eliminate the problem is going to be outright removal of water which contains the bacteria," Andrews said.

A concoction of peroxide over the water has helped. Andrews says think of it like pouring peroxide over an open wound: it clears the infection. This operation is just in a bigger manner.

"We're also planning to de-sludge the basins which will eliminate all of the sources of hydrogen peroxide," Andrews said.

Sandra Sandlin says she's personally been affected by the odor and toxins.

"Your membranes in your nose and your throat, lungs. My skin is very sensitive; it's been a really bad time," Sandlin said.

After tonight's meeting she tells me she is hopeful the cleanup will take place in a timely manner.

Sylacauga resident, David Harris is also hopeful but expressed some skepticism.

"Do I think the land will be brought back to the same condition it was prior to this? No," he said.

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