Local military academy makes big announcement – Tonight on FOX43 News At Ten

Neighbors blame farm for smelly situation in Dauphin County

JACKSON TWP., Pa. - In the community of Enders, there's little need to raise a stink, because the smell speaks for itself.

"[It] reminds you of a porta-potty, almost a burning smell," said John Enders, a resident.

"My two-year-old granddaughter, when we're driving through town, she holds her nose and says, 'Stinks,'" added Rose Sharp.

The smell comes from a neighboring farm that, in 2017, was approved to spread biosolids, or human waste, over farmland.

"With the snow and the water, the rain we've had here lately, we all have personal wells out here, so there's no water treatment system, so this runoff getting into the wells is going to be an issue," said resident Wanda Latshaw.

Latshaw says many residents near the farm have complained of digestive and respiratory problems.

"I have asthma, said Enders. "I've noticed more problems this year in dealing with it, seems like it's flaring up more and making it worse than it normally is."

Other neighbors, like Sharp, have had to put their dreams on hold until the smell abates.

"We've been fixing [the house] up for 20 years," she said. "Our dream was to do a B&B here, and who wants to come to a B&B to smell stink? It's just a shame."

The farm's owners did not respond to FOX43's requests for comment. The Department of Environmental Protection is aware of the situation, but aside from some minor violations, it has told neighbors the farm is within regulations.

"The guys making these regulations, I have a feeling, sit behind a desk," Latshaw said. "They are not out here in the country and seeing what actually goes on with the spreading of this biosolid."

Community members are circulating an online petition in hopes of getting the farm to stop spreading biosolids. They intend to present it to township supervisors at a meeting next month.