Early 2014 tanker spill haunts area with crude smell - WNEM TV 5

Early 2014 tanker spill haunts area with crude smell

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It tickles your nose and smacks you in the face.

An odor is lingering around Davison.

"The smell is terrible," Fran Krakker said.

It’s not cut grass or other summertime smells.

"Like toxic almost," Margaret Newberg said.

It’s a stench some say cannot be healthy.

"Chemically, like oily, and just something that you don't really, want to breathe," Newberg said.

It’s déjà vu to people who travel the route every day.

In January 2014, a tanker driver lost control and went off the overpass. Thousands of gallons of crude oil leaked out onto Irish Road and caught fire, leaving behind a nasty smell.

Since then, MDOT crews repaired the bridge and removed the soot, and the Department of Environmental Quality removed the contaminated soil.

That work was supposed to take care of the problem.

"I don't think it has improved any at all," Krakker said.

In the last week, people have said the smell has gotten stronger.

According to MDOT and the DEQ, the problem remains in material in storm drains.

Recent rainfall has caused the material to work its way up, intensifying the smell. They’re searching for a solution to take care of it, but have no timeline for a solution.

"I am very disappointed," Krakker said. "That's an awful odor to have."

Many people said they thought the problem was in the past.

"Finish the job," Newberg said.

Until a solution is found and implemented, commuters and residents will have to keep holding their nose. 

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