PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the Centers For Disease Control will be part of a meeting to provide an update on water sampling and the odor mitigation system in Eight Mile.
The CDC presented the results of the Community Health Assessment conducted since residents have complained about a pungent smell in their community. Although the report has already been released it was the first time many residents heard the results.
Residents like Peter Johnson said the smell is affecting their health. They're worried about the long-term problems the chemical odor will have.
"It's effecting me because I've got an illness, and if effects me in various ways. Like I have a cold I can't get rid of it, nose running, coughing," said Johnson.
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.
ADEM has linked the chemical in the groundwater and in the air to Mobile Gas and ordered them to get rid of the smell. The gas company has an abatement system set up, but residents said it is not doing enough.
Mobile Gas is not issuing a comment on the issue because of a pending lawsuit.
Agencies, including the Mobile County Health Department, did, however, share how it will address the issue.
"At this point in time, the Mobile County Health Department is coordinating with other agencies," said Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold.
Prichard Mayor Troy Ephriam announced he will be organizing a local committee of scientist, council members and citizens to help monitor the odor. The forum gave residents a chance to hear about research findings, and the latest on the environmental investigations.
It was clear folks want less talk more action.,
"They can have all the meetings that they want. They know what affects we are getting from it. But it's time to get it cleaned up," said Debbie Parker.
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