EIGHT MILE, Ala. (WALA) - A homeowner in Eight Mile believes interested buyers are turned off by her home's location.
Vickie Tillman lives off of Lott Road in Eight Mile and said she does not smell the foul odor, that many of her neighbors are concerned about.
For years, residents in the Eight Mile area have complained about a pungent smell in their community. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has identified the odor as tert-butyl mercaptan - a chemical with a strong odor added to natural gas lines to help you detect a leak.
"I feel for them. I want them to get their area actually cleaned up. But as far as our area, we are not having those problems. To me, it's steering people in the wrong direction as far as their comments about the neighborhood and as far as purchasing homes in this neighborhood as well," said Tillman.
Tillman said interested buyers have seen her home and have liked what they saw. But once they link the community to the odor complaints, they eventually tell her this:
"We don't want to have anything to do with it because we've heard about the odor," said Tillman.
ADEM has tested high levels of the chemical in the ground water and in the air in Eight Mile. They have ordered Mobile Gas to set up an abatement system. The system is set up about three miles from Tillman's home.
A Centers for Disease Control Assessment found almost all of the residents it surveyed, living within one mile of the contaminated source, have experienced the foul odor. The CDC said that number drops two miles away from the contaminated source.
Tillman's real estate agent said she's gotten a call from an interested buyer but once the conversation turned to foul odor in the community, the potential buy back off.
"This is something that we can't fight. I know that this has been on-going, long-standing problem but it seems as though it's taking a different phase. Not just supposedly health issues that are arising the odor itself but now I'm seeing that this could take a different avenue," said Nufrio.
Nufrio said there are 69 houses for sell in the Prichard area, and 41 of them are in Eight Mile.
"I do suggest that they give it a shot, take a look. And don't just mark it off," said Nufrio.
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