New Jersey environmental protection authorities say the operator of one of the state's most noxious landfills can try to use industrial-strength deodorant to cover up the rotten-egg stench wafting from the Morris County dump to neighboring highways, homes and nostrils.
Residents who live near the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury have been complaining about the odors emanating from the garbage site, which reopened in 2011 after a 32-year closure so authorities could fill it, cap it and build a solar facility on top of it.
But Daniel Marchese, an attorney representing a group of residents suing to have the landfill shut down, say the operator has not stopped accepted refuse. Until that happens, the capping phase of the project cannot begin, which means those who live near the dump continue to be afflicted by its malodorous smells, according to NJ.com.
As an interim solution, landfill operator Strategic Environmental Partners said it wanted to see if applying industrial-strength deodorants to the landfill helped prevent the smell from spreading.
Strategic tells NJ.com it's had a large amount of deodorant sitting in a trailer since the beginning of December, but it had to wait for approval from the state's Department of Environmental Protection before using it.
New Jersey's DEP authorized the deodorant application this week, saying Strategic could apply it to a small section of the landfill, and if the plan works to reduce the odors without causing any undesirable environmental effects, it could expand.
Marchese says the residents he represents aren't thrilled about the use of chemicals to try to eradicate the stench, but at this point, "we want the smell to go away," he told NJ.com.
The attorney said he wrote a letter to Gov. Chris Christie last week, asking the Republican to press for swifter action to mitigate the odor. Marchese said he didn't hear back from Christie, but said the governor wouldn't have to go far to smell the rotten-egg stench since he lives nearby.
"All he has to do is take a 10-minute trip to Route 10. The smell is the worst it’s ever been. It reaches all the way to Town Hall now," Marchese told NJ.com.
A judge gave Strategic until Friday to "certify that no further (construction and demolition) deliveries are needed" to complete the first phase of the solar project, and that it needed to give 72 hours notice if more deliveries were necessary, reports NJ.com.