Foul Odor in Magna

Foul Odor in Magna

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Sandra Yi reporting It's unpleasant, that's for sure. People describe it as the smell of human waste. And it's raising a big stink.

Janet Franks, Magna Resident: "At first I thought it was maybe one of the farms out here that had animals, but there was more of a human smell, like what you would smell in the canyons if you had to go go the outdoor restroom."

Residents noticed the bad smell on Thursday and again, even worse, Friday. So where is it coming from?

State environmental officials say here, the tailing ponds at Kennecott Copper. The mining company is fertilizing the impoundment with biosolids and trying to grow grass for dust control.

Some residents were concerned about health risks from breathing in the smelly air, but a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality says there's no need to worry.

Laura Vernon, Dept. of Environmental Quality: "There's nothing blowing in the wind such as particles or actual particules of biosolids or anything like that. It's just the direction of the wind and the rain that we've had, is picking up that odor and carrying the odor across with it across the valley."

Vernon says if it wasn't for those winds, no one would even notice anything was going on at Kennecott.

The good news is, the winds did clear the air of smoke and haze. The bad news is, if we get another storm like Friday's, residents will have to plug their noses again.

Calls to Kennecott were not returned so we don't know how long the reclamation work will continue.

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