DHEC asks feds to speed up decision on proposed agreement with New Indy

CATAWBA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is asking the EPA to quickly resolve complaints over the terrible smell coming from New Indy Catawba.

Channel 9 has covered the concerns from people who live near the York County plant for more than a year.

The EPA’s investigation determined emissions from the plant -- specifically hydrogen sulfide -- were what were causing the bad odor.

In a letter Thursday, DHEC asked the federal government to speed up its proposed consent decree that would force the plant to reduce its emissions.

>> CLICK HERE to read the proposed consent decree

The proposal was filed at the end of December and the public comment period for it ended on March 11, DHEC said. Once the EPA makes its decision, DHEC said it will issue an enforcement order to the facility ― “an order that could take stronger actions that go beyond the measures of any federal decree,” the agency said.

“We value the important relationship we’ve built with the EPA after decades of working together on key environmental issues in our state, and we’ll continue to maintain that essential cooperation in the future, but right now South Carolinians deserve expedient, effective action in regard to New Indy,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “For too long, residents of North and South Carolina who live near the facility have been enduring undesirable levels of odors that are impacting their quality of lives. It is imperative that a decisive action be taken to end the harm being done to the community.”

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