Smell Lingers In Howard Co. After Liquid Manure Spill & Cleanup

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)—There’s a smelly situation in Howard and Baltimore counties. A truck spilled manure as it was driving on Frederick Road Sunday, leaving a stinky mess behind.

Andrea Fujii has the story.

We’re talking about nearly two miles of spilled manure. Even though much of it is now cleaned up, there is still a stench in the air.

It’s a beautiful day on Main Street in Ellicott City. Except for this . . .

“It smelled like a farm, like a cattle truck had driven by,” said Michelle Dwyer, Ellicott City worker.

The Maryland Department of the Environment says a nearby slaughterhouse admitted their truck leaked possibly dozens of gallons of horse feces from Oella in Catonsville to Ellicott City.  WJZ followed the trail to Main Street.

The spill took several hours to clean up, forcing its closure as crews placed sand on top of the liquid to absorb it.

Store owners there say they’re still recovering from the flooding from Tropical Storm Lee a couple of weeks ago, so another day of lost business hurts.

Sally Tennant blames the manure for her lackluster day of sales.

“They were down and this is a busy time of year for me,” she said.

Thinking it was dirt, Betty Ellis drove right through it.

“It was just worse than anything I’ve ever smelled in my life,” Ellis said.

Health experts say the residue isn’t cause for concern.

“It doesn’t contain chemicals that are harmful to humans.  I think at that point really it was more offensive to people,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Department of Health.

The only worry now is when the smell will go away.

“It still stinks,” said one resident. “I hope they find the guy who did that.”

WJZ tried to speak with someone at the slaughterhouse, but did not receive a phone call back.

The Maryland Department of the Environment is still investigating but says the company could face a fine of up to $10,000.


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