Air being tested around foul-smelling biodigester

Lowell residents have been complaining about stench from plant for months

Lowell Energy AD's anaerobic biodigester on Wednesday Aug. 17, 2016.


LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials are looking into whether biodiegester in downtown Lowell that’s giving off a rank odor could be harmful to residents’ health.

The smell coming from the Lowell Energy AD waste-to-energy plant has been a source of complaints for months. Residents say the stench — which one woman described as like “manure” or “a city dump” — can be smelled throughout the city.

The city of Lowell has hired a private company to test the air inside and outside the biodigester, including the surrounding neighborhoods, looking to see if the plant is emitting anything toxic. So far, testing has not found anything dangerous.

A 14th nuisance citation was filed against the plant on Tuesday.

“I was about a mile away when I came in from work today. I followed (the smell) right to the biodigester, and I knew it was just a matter of time before the complaints came in,” Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala said.

The city has given the plant 30 days to fix the problem or face the possibility of closing.

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