JEFFERSON PARISH, La. —
“I was out of the country for a few weeks, but when I came back I had messages. That the smell was back,” River Ridge resident Nancy Pearson said.
Pearson is talking about a foul odor some residents in River Ridge, Waggaman and Harahan have been complaining about for two years now.
“It shouldn’t be a smell. They said in six months the smell should be gone,” Pearson said.
Parish officials initially told the public the odor would be gone at the beginning of the year, but it’s going to be much longer.
“The landfill still has a significant water issue,” Chris Carlson said.
Chris Carlson with Carlson Environmental Consultants told Jefferson Parish Council members Wednesday half of the nearly 240 gas wells at the landfill are having problems with excess water.
The landfill’s water and gas systems are not collecting gas properly, leaving some to leak into air. Parish officials say that could be causing at least some of the issues.
The landfill also needs a major upgrade it has to go through different stages, which could take longer than expected. Carlson’s report completed in May, estimates it would take about 8.2 million to convert and improve the entire facility.
“That’s scary to think that after all of this time and millions of dollars, in construction also, and we’re still so far behind,” Pearson said.
Earlier this year, residents left a public meeting angry saying they’re sick and tired breathing the smelly air.
Pearson says she's worried about two things. The safety of residents. And how much this is all costing them.
"I think people mean well, they're just over their heads. Government is so inefficient. If we can't manage it and we don't know how to manage a landfill, sell it!” Pearson said.