Eight Mile (WALA) - Concerned citizens said they have more questions than answers following a public hearing in Prichard.
The meeting was organized to discuss a foul odor coming from a wooded area in Eight Mile.
MYSTERIOUS STINK IN THE WOODS
Eight Mile residents like Lawrence Buford said the foul smell gets worse at night and it has been sickening his family for months.
"The smell is very toxic. That's the way I feel," Buford said. "My mom's been throwing up. My girlfriend has been throwing up."
SULFUROUS CHEMICAL DISCOVERED
After sampling the water in a stream just off Shelton Beach road, high levels of Mercaptan, a chemical used to odorize natural gas, were found.
A representative of Mobile Gas told Fox10 News that the closest natural gas line is a thousand feet from the source.
Neighbors like Vanda Blue said they feel it's unsafe for her grandchildren to be outside and say they deserve some answers,
"We try not to bring him out that much unless we are going to the store or the doctors," Blue said holding her 1-month-old grandson. "We try not to bring him out here like that. And we got a 7-year-old, and he's in the house, and he wants to play. But when that smell is up like that, we don't even let him come outside."
Kesshia Davis with Mobile Gas said the company started getting complaints about the smell in October of last year. She said the company started to check its natural gas lines.
"We started checking within a mile radius. Then we started checking within a two mile radius," said Davis. " again nothing. So we're just as puzzled as to where this odor is coming from. "
ADEM officials who also spoke at the meeting said they are not quite sure the effects caused by long term exposure to Mercaptan.
ADEM however said the chemical is not considered a hazardous air pollutant.
EPA officials said it will be conducting air quality tests in the coming weeks and is working closely with ADEM and Mobile Gas to help solve the problem.
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