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.

  • pigeon

    Bet it came from an animal! What a stinky job that had to be. Thank goodness there wasn’t a heat wave going on at the time – ewwwwwwwww!

  • P.U. Ravens

    Oh that was manure! I thought that stench was the Ravens!

  • stacy

    The article stated the substance transported in the truck was horse feces. I’m just wondering why that was being transported from a slaughter house. Horse slaughter in the United States has been illegal by federal law since October of 2007. Maybe WJZ should look into that.

    • Molly

      Googling “Oella” (where the article said the truck originated) and “Slaughterhouse” I came up with this: which appears to be all cattle, and likely a mistake on the part of the author (not the first time someone biffed an interview, neglected important questions, or just misquoted, no?).

    • rmsbl4

      Feces is sh!t

      • sheriff

        Brilliant RMSBL14, Simply brilliant deduction.

    • B Jones

      Like it or not, it is legal. Please check your facts before posting.

  • mageec

    Be it ever so humble
    Oh the sweet country air.

  • Rachel Smith

    Suck it up western shorers. Here on the Eastern Shore we smell manure every single day and yet you don’t here us complaining about it.

  • Kathy Shaw

    I think that the farmer who was protesting all the EPA’s new regulations and restrictions, missed his target by a hundred or so miles. He should have taken that down the road a little further and right down Penn Ave.

  • John Woelz

    You guys have NO idea what a manure stench is. Try driving within 20 miles of Greeley Colorado.

    • Kathy Shaw

      Nope, not a clue. Just own forty horses and over a hundred head of cattle. Nope, don’t have a clue what manure smells like. Just greatful that wasn’t poultry stuff out there. Now that STINKS…..

  • Patti

    Horse feces from a slaughterhouse? It has been illegal to slaughter horses for quite a few years now. This story has legs. Where’s the investigation?

    • Horse Teeth

      Sorry, like it ot not, it is legal. Check your facts.

  • Christine Hajek

    It actually is not illegal to slaughter horses in the US, there simply are currently no USDA approved horse slaughterhouses. The “ban” which everyone seems to think exists was HR503, which died unvoted upon in the House of Representatives. There is no federal “ban”. However, it does remain true that there are no certified slaughterhouses for HUMAN CONSUMPTION and export. To slaughter a horse for other uses, such as feeding large cats in zoos, is still legal and is done right in NJ at Bravo meatpacking. This story should be investigated further to explore the details.

  • sheriff

    Looks as though the proverbial s……t done hit the fan.

  • fraught

    “It doesn’t contain chemicals that are harmful to humans.” Now, e.coli bacteria, that’s a different story.

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