Neighbors Complain of 'Toxic' Smell in North Lansing

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

"It's nasty smelling. I mean I just close the doors and hope that it doesn't affect me. I hope I don't get sick from it," said Phylis Drew.

"It's like a choking smell, you can almost feel it on your skin," said Rusty Jenkins.

They say the smell started drifting in when a massive coal pile at a storage site near their homes started smoldering.

"If you know what burning coal smells like it's pretty bad. There's yellow smoke coming off the pile," Jenkins said.

The Lansing Fire Department says the coal is on private property and it's up to the owners to take care of it. The company on that property, Conrad Yelvington Distributors, said they needed to gather more information before talking. However, they didn't return any calls, which left neighbors frustrated and without answers.

"We have small children around here, they don't need to be smelling that," said Drew.

Jenkins pointed out that he can see the coal pile from his backyard and says the smell gets unbearable at times.

"There's been days where we've had to breath through towels and close up the whole house."

So far, Jenkins says noone has stepped up to find the source of the problem and put an end to it. That leaves him and others wondering, how much longer they have to live with a smell they say has blanketed over their neighborhood.


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  • by Jack Location: E Lansing on Aug 10, 2012 at 07:14 PM
    While I am sure the smell is bad, I cant figure out how anyone can live on the north end with the smell from Graingers land fill. I am sure the methane is not good for anyone to breath either. Thats pretty much a constant problem.
  • by Fred Location: Lansing on Aug 10, 2012 at 04:29 AM
    At least one citizen should file an odor complaint with the DEQ's Air Quality Division, Lansing District Office. You should call the Environmental Assistance Center and ask for the AQD Lansing District Office. Can ask for Mike M. or Teresa G. in the Lansing District Office. Do NOT just say "the Air Quality Division." There are a LOT of us and you'll be sent to the wrong person. Be prepared before you call with as much information as possible, including the address of the facility with the burning pile.
    • reply
      by Fred on Aug 10, 2012 at 05:58 AM in reply to Fred
      Update: complaints have been made. The contact at the AQD is Brian C. 517-335-6301. DEQ is aware of the problem. Good luck!
    • reply
      by Rusty on Aug 10, 2012 at 08:30 AM in reply to Fred
      Thanks for the extra info. DEQ was one of the first calls i made. But i will try to contact the people you mentioned. The rain has helped some, but its still not going out.
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