Town of Cheverly
News and Announcements
Many residents reported smelling a foul odor throughout town from Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening. The complaints came from the entire town, but were primarily focused on the east side of town. In response to these complaints, Washington Gas, Cheverly Police and the Mayor independently attempted to identify the source of the problem.
On Wednesday the Mayor spoke with representatives of the Washington Gas company and the owners of the Smith & Sons Recycling Center to review information gathered regarding the problem. There is significant evidence that the odor originated at the Smith facility, but the source is not completely confirmed.
The official Washington Gas investigation attributes the source to the "processing of coaxial cable" at the Smith Facility. Unofficial anecdotal reports from Washington Gas drivers to local residents mention the "burning of materials". However, official reports from Washington Gas do not indicate burning.
In conversations with Paul Smith (owner of Smith Facility) he indicated that employees did not smell the odor on site. However, it was his belief that the smell came from a sludge pile, created by cleaning a storm water pond, that remained on the property for too long. Twelve truckloads of sludge were removed on Tuesday and Wednesday and were brought to the landfill. Paul Smith also strongly asserted that there is no burning of any materials on site.
The situation will continue to be monitored. In the process of investigation, better contacts have been made with local Fire Departments, Washington Gas, and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE is responsible for air quality issues) for a more rapid response if this issue should re-occur. Paul Smith has also committed to work closely with us if an issue of this type occurs again.
Special thanks to Jolene Ivey and Senator Victor Ramirez for their assistance in providing contact information for various organizations.