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Childs Park residents meet with local authorities about foul odor plaguing community

“If one person complains, somebody needs to come out and take a look and see what’s going on.”
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Posted at 3:43 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 05:34:03-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For decades residents of the Childs Park neighborhood in St. Petersburg complained of a foul odor that wafts through their yards and seeps into their homes. Residents had a chance to speak with local authorities about their concerns Tuesday evening.

“If one person complains, somebody needs to come out and take a look and see what’s going on,” Childs Park resident Deidre Williams said. “I’m happy to hear that someone’s speaking up about it, finally, but am I satisfied, no, because the end result is to make sure that the community is safe,” said Williams.

Residents expressed their health concerns and frustration about having to endure an odor many say smells like gas. The Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management said they are committed to investigating the source of that odor. However, many residents wonder why it has taken so long to get down to the bottom of this issue.

“It’s good to see so much community involvement and we want to help try to resolve these issues,” Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management's Sheila Schneider said.

A representative from a local oil recycling plant in the community was also there to answer questions residents had.

“What we’re doing with that oil is heating it up and driving water out of it,” a Howco representative said.

The Howco representative said he does not believe the plant is contributing to the odor but said the company is willing to work with the community to find the source.

“This is my neighborhood," he said. "This is where I live. These are people I live next door to and we all live here together and we all matter together."

If you're a resident of Childs Park and you smell something, you can fill out the Smell Something, Say Something campaign here or call the Pinellas County Air Quality Division at (727) 464-4422.