Residents fear for health as chemicals fill neighborhood air

Virginia

Last week Micron made a record deal in the City of Manassas — it invested over one-billion dollars to stay in the city. A group of residents neighboring the plant are concerned about how the expansion will affect their health.

A man-made pond, used to dump wastewater and Micron’s effluent, is emitting a chemical smell that residents have likened to rotting eggs. The city says it will drain and reline the pond, but residents are wary as they’ve been battling the smell off and on for about a decade.

“They’d like to see it resolved, as would the city entirely,” said Pat Pate, Manassas City manager, “We want to take care of this problem for the community.” 

Erica Washington and her neighbors have reached out to the city since 2014, when the smell was at its worst following record snowfall. “I think it’s pretty poor that we’re still talking about something that’s been complained about for a decade.”

Pate says the city is pumping out water “as quickly as it can.” It’s also monitoring nearby sewer lines to be sure they’re not contributing to the smell. The city hopes to drain the pond by the end of the rainy season. 

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