The New York State Attorney General’s office has filed suit against New York Organic Fertilizer Company and its parent company, Synagro Technologies, Inc. This suit is an effort to force the South Bronx facility to end persistent noxious odors that have plagued the surrounding Hunts Point community. The odors produced by the facility, which have been variously described as smelling like raw sewage, feces, manure, and burning bodies, have allegedly disrupted routine activities in residential areas of Hunts Point, as well as at local schools, libraries and Barretto Point Park, a $7.2 million New York City park opened in 2006. These odors also cause those living and working nearby to suffer serious health effects, including severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and asthma attacks. Attorney General Cuomo had this to say:
The NYOFCo facility has been a foul and persistent threat to Hunts Point for years. The stench has plagued the community, making simple activities like opening windows, walking to school or enjoying a local park not only unpleasant, but an actual health risk. Through this lawsuit, my office is joining with the residents of the South Bronx to protect their right to clean and healthy air.
The lawsuit charges that the NYOFCo facility, located in the Hunts Point neighborhood of South Bronx, has created a public nuisance under New York State law by producing odors that “unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.” Further, the lawsuit charges that NYOFCo and Synagro have failed to control odors “so they do not constitute nuisances or threats to public health, safety or property.” NYOFCo accepts sewage sludge from New York City’s sewage treatment plants and processes it into fertilizer pellets for sale to out-of-state agricultural operations.
Since the facility began operations in 1991, residents, students and workers in the community have continually complained about foul, acrid odors emanating from it. The facility has repeatedly allowed noxious odors to escape from the facility, and has been cited for numerous violations by the city and state. The Attorney General’s lawsuit aims to address the odor problems associated with the operation of the facility by requiring NYOFCo and Synagro to comprehensively investigate solutions to ending offensive and noxious odors in the community, and then to implement those that will be most effective.
Source: North Country Gazette
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