Since we previously blogged that horrible odors in Mecca, California were so bad on December 15 that kids and teachers at Saul Martinez Elementary School were stricken with nausea and vomiting, the city local air quality department has received over 200 complaints of almost daily odor outbreaks, many coming from students and teachers at the school, according to mydesert.com. Yesterday, 200 Mecca residents attended a meeting at the elementary school, where officials assured them that they are working to eliminate the odor, which has been linked to a waste recycling facility operated by Western Environmental, Inc. However, they have not been told what is causing the odors, only that they are within federal and state limits.
Residents, teachers and students are not sure if all is being done. Kindergarten teacher Shannon Tincher said she will not return to teach next year because she is tired of being told that she is "not sick and everything (at the plant) is within federal and state limits." Special education teacher and Mecca resident Celia Garcia is concerned about her own baby at home coughing at night. Residents are also accusing the Indian reservation where the plant is located, Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, of not being a good neighbor.
It is very possible that whatever is causing the odors are within federal and state limits. Certain pollutants, such as hydrogen sulfide, can cause an odor nuisance at very low levels. People still have a right to enjoy their property without the odor nuisance, and children have the right to be able to go to school without an odor nuisance. Current technology and engineering practices can control these odors.
While I do not currently represent anyone at this site, I do represent hundreds of similarly situated people around the country in various landfill and environmental litigation. To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with an environmental lawsuit, contact environmental attorney Todd Hageman.