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TIMELINE: Bad smell in Catawba, South Carolina

When an awful, rotten egg stench began to spread across an area of The Palmetto State, WCNC Charlotte started to investigate.
Credit: EPA

CATAWBA, S.C. — In March 2020, WCNC Charlotte started receiving news tips complaining about a "rotten-egg smell" that was permeating south Charlotte and South Carolina.

Viewers said the stench was so pungent, it was causing health problems and even motivating them to move out of the area. 

WCNC Charlotte hit the ground running to figure out what the source was of the awful aroma. 

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What followed was a months-long investigation into the root cause of the issue and holding legislators as well as corporations accountable for their involvement.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined the South Carolina New Indy Containerboard paper mill was the source of the smell. Multiple lawsuits have been filed by residents impacted by the odor. Some people have even taken to moving out of their homes in order to avoid getting medical side effects from the smell.

Town halls have been packed with concerned citizens, and lawmakers are trying to enact changes that would solve this stinky issue and prevent this from happening again.

WCNC Charlotte's investigation into this important issue at New Indy is ongoing, and this timeline will continue to be updated as developments come to light. If you have been impacted by the foul odor, or if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest developments, contact or follow the following reporters who have been working on this story since the beginning:

Contact Brandon Golder at bgoldner@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Contact Nate Morabito at nmorabito@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


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