CATAWBA, S.C. — The New-Indy Paper Mill released information saying it did everything it was asked by the EPA to reduce a rotten egg smell residents have complained about for years.
The paper mill is facing lawsuits because of the smell and other pollution concerns reported by residents in North and South Carolina.
New-Indy said emissions of hydrogen sulfide have been very small or zero for a year now, something the EPA confirmed.
“New-Indy Catawba has made numerous upgrades and improvements to its facility since acquiring it in 2018, which the EPA has endorsed or requested. The upgrades and improvements have worked as anticipated. Emissions of hydrogen sulfide from the New-Indy Catawba facility have been negligible or zero for more than a year," a statement from New-Indy Catawba reads.
The full statement from New-Indy Catawba, as well as legal documents, is available to read here.
But attorneys for residents said thousands are still exposed to pollution coming from New-Indy’s plant.
Rock Hill resident Kerri Bishop said the smell changed in the last year, but she’s still bothered by an odor.
“It is getting less, which is good," Bishop said. "I’m still smelling it probably maybe half the month."
Attorneys representing residents against New-Indy called it a "sweetheart deal."
“This agreement is just the latest example of the EPA’s failure to put an end to New-Indy’s dangerous emissions or hold them fully accountable," a statement on behalf of Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel in the New-Indy emissions litigation reads. "Unfortunately for the thousands of people who continue to be exposed to New-Indy’s egregious pollution, this sweetheart deal will not solve the problem or force the company to come into compliance with state and federal regulations."
According to the EPA, "The monitoring data provided shows that the hydrogen sulfide emissions have been reduced and that there has not been an exceedance of the health based standard in the order since September 2021."