Malodorous Matter

RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 25, 2019

Dear Editor,
    I was grateful to see the article bringing light to the Austin Community Landfill issue ["The Other ACL," News, Jan. 18]. I live in Pioneer Crossing East and on some days the smell is truly unbearable. I, along with many other residents, continuously file odor complaints with the TCEQ. I have yet to see any impact of our complaints, but patiently hope that TCEQ might send out an investigator in the evening when residents continuously log the smells as being the worst. 
    What is appalling to me is that resident complaints are not included as part of the criteria matrix. I wish to know how odor nuisance is not considered "worth putting in." As someone who has to smell the odor regularly, it is a serious problem. I am not sure what they accept at the landfill, but sometimes it smells truly awful and residents cannot stand to be outdoors. Clearly odor complaints were not included on purpose as they knew it would highly impact the outcome. 
    Furthermore, how is a matrix that was not approved by City Council now in use? Is this really how a democracy works? It makes me wonder what the relationship is between Waste Management Inc. and certain staff working for the city of Austin ….
    It terrifies me that this landfill could potentially be expanded. If it already smells as bad as it does and is already as high as it is (you can very clearly see the mountain from major roads if you look to the east), what we residents could be facing in the future, deeply concerns me. 
    I hope this article is just the start of some serious investigations and conversations. It is time for the city to step up if truly wanting to be seen as a city that prides itself as having strong environmental ethics.
Kim Wood
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