Mysterious smell under investigation in Henrico

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A mysterious smell is under investigation in Henrico's East End. It's being noticed by people in the Midview Farms subdivision, which is located near Darbytown Road.

Neighbors say the smell is like rotten eggs mixed with sulfur. And it gets so bad at certain times, that some neighbors are afraid to have people visit them at their house.

Eric Leabough lives in Midview Farms - where the streets are new, and the homes are big. Only recently did he learn about the big smell.

"Smells like gas, leakage, or some sort of rotten egg...just horrible," Leabough said.

It's not noticeable all the time; mostly in the morning, or at night.

"We don't want to invite people over, and the first thing they smell is this odor," Leabough said.

So Eric's been pleading with the Department of Environmental Quality to investigate. And the answer, he believes, is simple.

"There's two landfills here. There shouldn't be any mystery as to where the odor is coming from," Leabough said.

The two landfills on nearby Darbytown Road take in construction debris and household garbage. By law, the smells are not supposed to be a nuisance.

"A chronic problem like this where you're having it over an extended period of time, that shouldn't take place," said Rick Weeks, Chief Deputy of the Department of Environmental Quality.

The problem is the DEQ can't confirm that the landfills are to blame...not even after weeks of study.

"We really have a responsibility to get this thing under control…because they shouldn't have to put up with those kinds of odors," Weeks said.

The department can't issue a warning until it pinpoints the source. Testing continues. And that means so does Eric's wait for answers. A situation that he says stinks, in more ways than one.

"We should have the same rights, the same quality of living that people in any other area of this city or state have," Leabough said.

Despite the work of the DEQ, neighbors tell us that the smell still hasn't gone away, especially in the morning and in the evening. Now, they're involving their elected officials in hopes of getting a resolution.

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