Aug 02, 2006

Georgia Shuts Down Waste Plant Due to Odor

Georgia temporarily shut down a south Fulton County waste processing plant that made over 200 people sick from a noxious odor.

Philip Services Corporation was notified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources about a month after neighbors started complaining of a smell from the plant. The scent most likely came from a delivery of wastewater that was used to clean pesticides from rail cars.

According to, the water contained propyl mercaptan, which gives off an offensive smell to substances that would otherwise be odorless. The chemical is added to warn people of the presence of dangerous materials. The scent resembles onions or garlic.

The state Environmental Protection Division stated that Philip Services did not properly monitor the wastewater before putting it into the tankers, which released the smell through vents. The company is no longer allowed to accept waste until improvements are made to the intake systems.

Over 200 people in both Fulton and Fayette counties have complained of getting sick from the order, which lead to a lawsuit. Residents have complained of experiencing migraines, nosebleeds, rashes and nausea.