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New complaints surface over bad smell drifting into West Valley neighborhoods


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WEST VALLEY CITY — New complaints surfaced Wednesday over a recurring, pungent odor that stops residents in their tracks.

“It’s just putrid,” Marshall Parker said. “It just outright stinks, for lack of a better phrase.”

The smell lingered into Parker’s neighborhood Tuesday after 8 p.m.

Neighbor Jason Brierley described it as a “moldy” lawn-type smell that was distinct from that of the landfill.

“When you smell it, you know it’s that smell,” Brierley said. “It was everywhere, so I even went inside because I was like, ‘holy cow!’”

West Valley City spokesman Sam Johnson said the city received as many as a dozen new complaints about the bad odor, but the scent has been barraging residents for years. Johnson said a company near the Salt Lake Valley Landfill that processes human waste is believed to be responsible.

“It’s not in our boundaries — it’s basically across the street,” he explained. “We get this odor that is very uncomfortable for residents, has been bothering our residents, and we’d like them to fix it."

Johnson said the city had reached out to the company, the county and the State of Utah for help in addressing the smell, but so far to no avail.

Spokespersons for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Salt Lake County said they weren’t prepared to comment on the matter when contacted Wednesday evening, and said they would need more time to look into the issue.

An official at the company West Valley City officials identified said late Wednesday that the business has been unfairly targeted over the years, and there are several potential culprits within range of the landfill.

The company, the official said, has taken steps to track and mitigate its odors.

West Valley City creates a website for residents to report odor. New complaints surfaced Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, over a recurring, pungent odor that stops residents in their tracks. Photo: KSL TV
West Valley City creates a website for residents to report odor. New complaints surfaced Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, over a recurring, pungent odor that stops residents in their tracks. Photo: KSL TV

Johnson said the city created a website to log complaints about the smell.

“If you smell something, say something,” Johnson said.

Parker said he hoped somebody would be able to bring the bad odor to an end.

“Let’s do the right thing — let’s not let this turn into something worse than what it should be,” Parker said.

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Andrew Adams
Andrew Adams is a reporter for KSL-TV whose work can also be heard on KSL NewsRadio and read on KSL.com and in the Deseret News.

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