Hunts Point residents sue over sewage stink

HUNTS POINT - Local Hunts Point residents say they're fed up with the smell emanating from two sewage-related industrial facilities near Baretto Point Park, and they've filed a lawsuit as a result.

They say the noxious stench has degraded one of the nation's poorest congressional districts for decades. For help, residents have turned to the Natural Resources Defense Council and Mothers on the Move to fight the plants they say are to blame.

"They know it smells, the workers know it smells, but they're not doing anything about it," says resident Lucretia Jones.

The lawsuit, filed in Bronx State Supreme Court, is focused on two plants in the neighborhood. One is a city-run sewage facility that takes in the waste of about 600,000 New Yorkers. The other is the privately run New York Organic Fertilizer Co., which transforms New York City sewage into fertilizer pellets.

The city says its conducted odor surveys in the area and coordinated with 311 to improve DEP's response to odor complaints.

The private plant is owned by Synagro Technologies Inc. of Houston, which operates in 33 states as America's largest recycler of organic waste. Synagro's parent company is the Carlyle Group - a global private equity firm.

Advocates don't want the facilities to close, but rather upgrade the technology they use to reduce the stench. They say many plants around the city already use that technology.

The city says it has conducted odor surveys in the area and coordinated with 311 to improve DEP's response to odor complaints.

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