Nuisance Odor


WBTV reported that the Environmental Protection Agency will investigate the odor in South Carolina. The odor is a nuisance that takes away citizen’s rights to enjoy their property. People living in York and Lancaster counties complained more than 5,000 times to South Carolina DHEC since March 12. Residents describe the odor as a mix of rotten eggs, nail polish, and raw sewage. Some residents have reported symptoms of nausea, headaches, and burning in their eyes, throat and lungs. To file a report click HERE .

“We need everyone to engage and report the smell every time. If it wakes you up in the middle of the night, report it,” Senator Johnson says. 

New Indy Plant

DHEC has been working to trace the source of the smell.  They worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Air Resources Laboratory to track wind speed and direction and found a significant source of the smell to be the New Indy Plant. DHEC named the New Indy Containerboard paper plant a “significant contributor” to the orders plaguing South Carolina residents. Click here to read the full New Indy report. However, DHEC cannot figure out the cause so the EPA will take over.

Seems pretty obvious when you read that the odor started when the mill made the change from producing bleached paper to brown paper last month. This new process has a total reduced sulfide (“TRS”) residual. This leftover waste smells like rotten eggs.

The mill previously violated permit conditions after exceeding the annual capacity for burning fuels. DHEC found multiple unapproved modifications to a 2017 construction permit affecting how the mill handles wastewater.