FREELAND — A bad stench is making its way through a neighborhood in Luzerne County. Neighbfors in Freeland say it’s coming from a nearby meat processing plant.
Citerrio is a food company with a meat processing plant along Route 940 in Freeland. Across the street from the plant is their sewage station, which some neighbors say is stinking up the neighborhood, and now some are concerned for their health.
Lee Belles says it’s been a while since he could breathe easily. For the past year or so, he says a stench has been wafting through his property, making him sick.
“I’m on oxygen all the time. Here at nights, I can’t open my windows. I have a hard time getting my breath. I’m getting dizzy spells and everything from this,” said Lee Belles, of Freeland.
Belles says it’s coming from this sewage pump, just a few feet behind his backyard. It’s the sewage pump for Citterio, a meat processing plant just across the street.
Ronald Montz is another nearby homeowner, who says the odor is terrible.
“I like to cook outside. I like to grill outside and there’s nothing worse than bringing a nice steak out and putting it on the grill and then being hit with that,” said Ronald Montz, of Freeland.
Montz says it’s been going on for more than a year.
An official for Citerrio says they installed the pump last year but didn’t start using it until this spring.
An official for Citerrio’s did not want to speak on camera and he did not want to give his name to Newswatch 16. But he told us that they are aware of the problem. He said ‘We are working on it and we’re spending considerable funds on it.
Neighbors say they’ll believe it when the smell goes away.
“I wonder about if there’s any residual health effects,” said Montz.
“Most of the time I stay down the valley in Drums with my girlfriend. I can’t live like this. It’s bad,” said Belles.
Newswatch 16 spoke with someone from Foster Township, who says since Citerrio owns the pump, the township has no say in what happens with the pump station.