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SPSA's offer to relocate mulch facility doesn't smell quite right to neighbors

<P>A possible deal to move a compost facility doesn't smell right to residents of a Virginia Beach neighborhood.
/ Source: WAVY-TV

A possible deal to move a compost facility doesn't smell right to residents of a Virginia Beach neighborhood.

Virginia Beach and "SPSA" are looking to relocate a yard waste recycling center, after nearby residents complained of foul smells.

SPSA put out a statement claiming it wants to work with the city, but Tarleton Oaks residents who live next to the mulch facility will believe it when they see it.

The view from Linda Myers bedroom? Yard waste at the public landfill.

"This is a sick neighborhood," she said.

She doesn't agree with the executive summary of the Virginia Beach study that states: "...hydrogen sulfide comprises a nuisance effect with no public risk to public health."

Myers claims the rotten egg smell and continuing mulch smells are a risk to her health.

"Six ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, upper respiratory problems, constant horseness"

The study also stated: "Regardless...potentially harmful organic dusts...may cause adverse health effects...allergic response or with weakened immune systems."

Dust such as that Rebecca Kemp finds on her car every morning. She's skeptical of reports SPSA will shut down the facility

"If this is on my car, what are we breathing in?," she asked.

But SPSA insists that even though the study finds no public health risks with the composting smells, they're willing to move the yard waste site.

"We are mindful of the concerns of the citizenry. We are trying to be good neighbors is one way we can interpret that," said Felicia Blow, a spokesperson for SPSA.

But the study also found severe odors can return in the future unless the site is improved.

"..possibly reoccurence...without significant modification" it states.

"I don't smell anything. It isn't now - not every day," said Myers.

And she's upset there's no deadline to get the site moved.

"It could take six motnhs or more to take the process. My life is worth more than a pile of rotting leaves," she said.

"The discussions will satisfy the citizenry and they'll continue to recycle," said Blow.

We spoke with attorney Glen Huff.

His class action lawsuit against Virginia Beach and SPSA is on hold pending the outcome of a final decision to close down the compost facility.

The cash strapped SPSA could want more than 3 million dollars from Virginia Beach taxpayers to reimburse SPSA expenses to open the facility and to pay for future relocation.