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North BR neighborhood continues fight against sewage plant

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Posted: Mar 15, 2011 9:19 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Mar 15, 2011 9:19 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: neighborhood, Baton Rouge, sewage, plant, march, LEAN, court

BATON ROUGE- The fight to clear the air of a rotten smell in North Baton Rouge continues.

Wednesday, neighbors in the "University Place" area will bring the battle over a sewer plant to the streets in a community march.

They say the North Waste Water Plant stinks and reduces their quality of life. They've tangled with the city in court before and that went nowhere. But Wednesday, there's a hearing on the latest lawsuit filed by an environmental group on the neighbor's behalf in federal court.

People say they won't stop trying to get the plant away from them, or get away from it.

"What we are doing is trying to keep this before the community, before the elected officials, before anyone just to let them know we are not giving up the fight," said homeowner Irma Miller.

Louisiana Environmental Action Network is joining forces with the neighbors after seeing questionable deposits out of the plant flowing into the river and seeing no real change in the community.

LEAN Executive Director Mary Lee Orr said, "This has been going on, not just for a month, but for year, after year, after year so we're hoping that the judge really hears the cry of the people and the cry of our natural resources being harmed."

DPW says it's dumped $3.5 million of odor control projects into the plant to help, including one wrapping up any day now, but, "the odors are not changing," said homeowner Greg Mitchell, "The technology that they're using is not working, it is not happening."

The attorney's hired by the city-parish for this case say they're open to going back to square one and looking into buying-out property, but it's up to the council to ultimately decide. Residents say they'll believe it when they see it.

"That's when we'll start to believe and start to see some real action take place and we're not just wanting any little thing, we want what's fair for our community," said Mitchell.

The march on Wednesday is at Southern University where civil rights activist Al Sharpton is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m.

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