Polk Co. trying to shut down organic soil farm over foul odor

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LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) –  Polk County Commissioners have moved to shut down an organic soil farm with an eye-watering stench.

Residents and business owners have been demanding that B.S. Ranch & Farm, 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.

“Some days it just brings tears to your eyes,” Jim Cindric said. “You can’t even go out in your front porch, or on your yard. It just doesn’t even make you want to be on the sun.”

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

The county cited the company, and a county attorney is now working to get a cease and desist order. Commissioners approved the facility at the beginning of the year, and claim the company assured them the odor would be contained.

Now the county is moving to shut down the company.

The county attorney is working to obtain a cease and desist letter to shut down operations until the company can come into compliance.

“I have sympathy for them but I have greater sympathy for the community because it is truly repulsive.” Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey said.

Lindsey explained that the process could take some time. “We still have a due process procedure we have to follow. There are certain notices, and these kind of things that lawyers get us all tangled up in. But we want to make sure we do it right and preserve the rights of all the parties,” he said.

In a previous interview the owner of B.S. Ranch and Farm, Brandy Stanton, described it as a large-scale composting operation. The company takes in trash and human waste from Polk and other counties and process it into soil. Stanton told 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.

Stanton would not return News Channel 8’s calls on Wednesday.

“I’m not convinced that the methodology that they gave us is going to work. Until some other third-party can tell us that it can work and be done right, they will not be in operation,” Lindsey said.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-

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