Gunfire outside Sorrento landfill escalates environmental fight
SORRENTO- As workers entered the BFI Colonial Landfill on Highway 70 Monday morning, witnesses say a woman shot her gun in the air after yelling at them. A short time later Ascension Parish Sheriff deputies arrested Genie LeBlanc, 62, charging her with a misdemeanor offense.
LeBlanc was on her property at the time, she lives next to the landfill. It is legal to fire a gun in that part of Ascension Parish on private land except when it's done in a threatening manner. Her husband, Gene LeBlanc, told News 2 his wife is frustrated over a year-long feud they've had with the landfill.
The LeBlanc's said beginning in October 2015, a chemical odor emitting from the dump has made them sick and their home nearly inhabitable.
"Genie's been to the emergency room on a couple of occasions and last week we went to do blood work and the CO2 contamination in our blood is rising," Gene LeBlanc said.
He said most days the smell is so pungent they become nauseous, dizzy, and can't sleep at night. The landfill stores different types of garbage including industrial waste.
Ascension Parish Council Chairman Bill Dawson confirmed the LeBlanc's account of the dump's odor Monday, saying there was a noticeable change in Fall 2015.
Dawson said the council is considering placing air monitors in the area to determine if the odor is toxic and if it originates from the landfill.