Federal injunction filed against paper mill blamed for stench near state line

CATAWBA, S.C. — The federal government has filed an injunction against paper company New Indy Catawba, which the Environmental Protection Agency said is behind an overwhelming stench that thousands of people living along the North Carolina-South Carolina state line have complained about.

Monday’s injunction is essentially a follow-up to make sure the company continues to follow requirements set by the agency.

It has been 60 days since the EPA issued a Clear Air Act Emergency Order and the injunction said the company still needs to take steps to reduce air pollution.

Environmental officials have been monitoring levels of hydrogen sulfide in the area. The most recent data from July 9 showed hydrogen sulfide was detected in all five neighborhoods where the monitors have been placed -- including Treetops, where Leon Cherrualt lives.

“I know that when I walk out of my house, it’s there” Cherrualt told Channel 9. “I think they should get rid of the smell.”

Not only is the stench obnoxious, but the EPA said elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide can cause health effects like headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing.

New Indy’s environmental consultants are also monitoring air pollution levels onsite. The company is also incorporating recommendations made by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, like using an activated carbon filtration unit to help reduce emissions.

A new report posted Tuesday said the filter’s effectiveness is encouraging and longer term solutions are still being investigated.

(WATCH BELOW: EPA orders industrial plant to reduce emissions causing foul odor near state line)