There has been a lot of talk about this “sudden problem” with the Rolling Hills recycling facility, but is this a new problem?
Mr. Aaron Wiley, who actually testified against the Rolling Hills landfill, testified that he has lived in the area since 1958 and that the neighborhood has had the H2S smell that we are talking about since then.
South Palafox Properties has only operated the landfill since 2007. During that time, Escambia County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have renewed their permit several times without reservation.
So, why are Mr. Wiley and the other residents complaining now? Perhaps the except from Mr. Wiley’s trial testimony can offer an explanation.
Q). Mr. Wiley, you’re aware that there is a community lawsuit against the facility, correct?
Q). Are you part of that?
A). I’m not at liberty to talk along those lines at this point.
Q). Are you a plaintiff in that lawsuit?
A). I would think so, yes.
It is certainly interesting that Mr. Wiley is so eager to publicly testify about this smell that he can’t stand to live near but very reluctant to talk about law suits.
Additionally, the facility is surrounded by closed landfills, swamps and sewage treatment infrastructure. You see there are lots of things that generate H2S gas. That is why it is called swamp gas, sewer gas, and landfill gas. All of these things generate gas but only we are held accountable.
In fact, ECUA placed the pipes that transported the material that caused the smell that everyone enjoyed in downtown Pensacola via the ECUA sewage plant. They are actually located on the Rolling Hills facility. If you think back to when the sewage plant was located downtown, you will remember the lengths that ECUA went to declare victory over the smell, only to be proven wrong time and again.
The green lines in the aerial photo below represent ECUA’s sewage lines that run across the Rolling Hills property. Interestingly, you will seat least four “Air Relief Valves”, the red circles, that are specifically designed to vent the same sewer gas that you smelled downtown into the air near Wedgewood.
So why is the county holding a company accountable that has only been in operation since 2007 when there are numerous other sources of the same odor?
People should not be able to complain about conditions that existed before they came here in order to put small business out of business. We should not have to live in fear of the government arbitrarily enforcing regulations that they do not even abide by themselves.