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Residents Worried By Smell

Dec 3, 2003 | Dozens of neighbors in East Point, fearful for their health, turned out for a town mall meeting Wednesday night to discuss what can be done about a wood treatment plant in the community they believe is polluting the air with Creosote and PCBs.

There is no evidence that the W.C. Meredith Utility Pole Treatment Plant has done anything wrong, but the residents, who sometimes wear masks around their homes, say they believe the proof is in the smell of Creosote, which the plant uses to treat telephone poles.

Residents said the smell is sometimes so thick that they can taste it.

"It has a taste and I have a 15-month-old. It concerned me then, it concerns me doubly now," said one resident at the meeting.

East Point City Councilman Greg Fann agrees with many that the plant has to leave the community. “My eyes started running water, I ingested the smell and I started having breathing problems,” he said.

“What’s at stake is, without a doubt, our quality of life and we don’t know what the health consequences are,” said East Point resident Michelle Thomas.

Officials with Meredith were not at the meeting and did not return phone calls from 11Alive News, but have publicly said the plant is not the cause of the odor and that they are in full compliance of EPA laws and regulations.

The fire department has placed air quality monitors in the community around the plant, but state testing so far has found no danger.

Nonetheless, residents want the plant to stop using Creosote immediately.

“As far as Meredith saying they’re going to stop it in March, stop it in April or June, I want them to stop it yesterday,” said State Senator Vincent Fort.

The residents said they will form a task force to look into ways to put more pressure on the company and the Verizon company, which is one of its biggest clients.

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