Odor task force says it knows origin of neighborhood stink

- Lucian Hill, an environmental engineer who focuses on air quality and lives in the Shadow Creek subdivision of Pearland, is also a member of the 'odor task force.' He says he knows what is causing the foul odor permeating through his neighborhood.

"Blue Ridge has to be the only source of the gas," says Hill. "The task force is confident that it is Blue Ridge."

Hill also says the task force arrived at that conclusion after reviewing the 1,626 complaints reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

"All these vectors cross the property of the Blue Ridge landfill and the center point is actually this closed cell that we are questioning as the leak of the landfill gas," explains Hill. "We want the TCEQ to actually confirm the validity of the landfill gas leak."

But the TCEQ has not. And it has not identified Blue Ridge as the responsible party. The TCEQ hasn't conducted a single soil test of the 1,300-acre lot that is situated across the street from the Shadow Creek subdivision, according to the odor task force.

In a 39-page report released by the TCEQ in August, investigators even note that they felt nauseated after prolonged exposure in the vicinity of the Blue Ridge landfill.

The landfill, operated by Republic Services, responded to these allegations in the following written statement to FOX 26 News:

State regulators have identified another landfill and other industrial operations in the area that have the potential to be a source of odor within the community.

The commission also wrote, "believe in being a good neighbor in Shadow Creek and take any concern regarding landfill operations seriously."

Texas State Representative Ed Thompson says he is aware of the air quality issue. He sits on a committee that oversees the TCEQ and will meet with the organization on Wednesday.

"I don't want to say that it's Blue Ridge," said Thompson. "That hasn't been proven at this point and I think what we need to do at this point is find out where it's coming from." 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the organization tasked with determining the cause of the smell. It says the investigation is ongoing.

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