Still no word on cause of Harlan’s stink

    HARLAN – Another couple of weeks have gone by and still no answers to why, on occasion, Harlan stinks.
    For about a month, winds out of the south and east have drawn an unpleasant odor into town, allegedly from the Essentia plant east of Harlan.  Most recently, the smell permeated the town on Sunday, April 8 and Tuesday evening, April 10.
    The Harlan Newspapers  has reached out to Essentia and has been awaiting a phone call to be returned for the past two weeks.
    City administrator Gene Gettys, Jr. said city officials also have reached out to Essentia, but have not heard back.
    Terri Daringer, interim director with Shelby County Environmental Health, said she relayed concerns to Essentia, and officials there told her that they were going to have an engineer evaluate the lagoon system at the plant.  That was a few weeks ago.
    There have been concerns from the public, who continue to call the newspaper office and city hall requesting information about the odor and what can be done to stop it.
    Gettys said a next step if the city doesn’t hear back from Essentia would be the city may contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for assistance.  In the meantime, he said residents can call Essentia and ask questions or voice concerns.

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