Lowell Council hears complaints about smelly facility

LOWELL, MICH. - The manager of a Lowell anaerobic digester plant says they have hired a top odor elimination company to remove the unpleasant smell coming from their waste to energy facility.

“Webster Environmental specializes in odor problems,” says Lowell Energy managing member Greg Northrup.  “I am depending on them, as experts to bring this issue to closure.”

The Lowell digester converts fats, oil, grease and dairy waste into renewable energy.

It’s supposed to run odor free, but at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, people who live nearby told council the plant stinks.

“Enough is enough,” said several people

“I’m thinking someone has died and is rotting in the river,’ explained one woman. “I don’t think my husband, battling cancer, should be exposed to this on a daily basis.”

“I am as frustrated as they are that we are causing them this problem,” says Northrup. “Our plant is not functioning as it should and we are committed to fix it.”

Northrup says Webster Environmental has a 2 point plan for odor elimination.  He says he hopes to have their recommendations in place in a few weeks.

“Probably within the next 2 to 3 weeks we can put the solution in place they are recommending,” he says. “Our desire is to capture 99% of this problem now.”

Lowell Energy may be running out of time to eliminate the offensive odor. 

The company has a lease with the city for the land and Lowell Power & Light has a contract to buy the power generated at the plant. 

Both have put the bio-digester company on notice the strong odor is a violation of those agreements.


“I’m calling for the immediate shut down of this plant,” a resident told council “I think we should be put up in hotels until the smell is gone,”

(© 2016 WZZM)


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