Organic soil farm in Polk County cited for “eye-watering” odor


LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) –  A Polk County community is raising a stink over what they call an eye-watering stench.

Residents and business owners are demanding an organic soil farm be shut down.

“It’s raw sewage. It’s untreated raw sewage,” Neighbor Duane Witter said.

Witter and a number of other residents are fed up with the smell.  “I want the odor eliminated,” Witter said.

Local business owners want the smell gone too.

“Our employees and the employees of all those business have to chose between leaving their business, or suck up and enjoy it,” one said.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the smell can be traced back to the B.S. Ranch and Farm in Lakeland.

“What we’re doing is actually a wonderful thing,” Owner of B.S. Ranch and Farm, Brandy Stanton said.

Stanton describes it as a large-scale composting operation.

They take in trash and human waste from Polk and other counties and process it into soil.

Stanton tells 8 On Your Side the company is following their state and county approved permits, and questions if the smell is entirely from them.

“The neighborhood that we’re in here produces a lot of smells. I’m not saying we don’t ever have a smell,” Stanton said.

But it’s not just neighbors who think otherwise.

On five separate visits the DEP found the smell to be a problem.

On Thursday, the county cited the company, saying they need to do a better job of containing the odor.

“We certainly need to stay on top of this, as well as the DEP and code enforcement to make sure that the stench goes away,” Polk County Commissioner Melony Bell said.

Commissioners approved the facility at the beginning of the year, and claim the company assured them the odor would be contained.

“Fast forward to now, here we are in March in those circumstances have changed,” Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey said.

Commissioners and the county attorney discussed in a meeting on Friday various ways to prevent odor from running through the town.

As for B.S. Ranch & Farm, Commissioner Lindsey said the company will get due process to come into compliance.

“We will have to figure out the best way to manage what we’ve permitted or allowed to happen,” Commissioner Lindsey said.

City of Orlando officials confirm they have temporarily stopped delivering waste to the facility in light of DEP involvement.

The company has until April 4, 2017 to resolve the odor problem.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

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