YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Something stinks in Yonkers.
Now local leaders are asking the Biden administration for millions of dollars to resolve odor issues at a wastewater treatment plant.READ MORE: 'Diaphragm Law' Banning NYPD Officers From Applying Pressure To Suspect's Torso Struck Down
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, Ludlow Park is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Yonkers, where homes sell upwards of $600,000. But when the wind blows from the west, there’s a downside.
“The biggest downside is the odors coming from the wastewater treatment plant,” said Ludlow Park resident Chris Canty.
“At least three times a week, at night usually, smells like gas, you know? It smells really bad around here,” said resident Flor Guzman.
Gas, as in methane gas, and other unpleasant odors from the massive wastewater treatment plant just down the hill on the Hudson River.
In recent years, Westchester County has spent big money on odor remediation projects at the plant: Almost $40 million. And there’s some indication it may be helping. The record shows in the first three months of 2021, there were only two complaints about odor.READ MORE: New York's COVID State Of Emergency Set To Expire Thursday
The county believes more must be done to snuff out the smell and is working with Rep. Jamaal Bowman on a federal grant – another $70 million – to modernize plant operations.
“And in the act of modernization. we make a major step toward odor control, as well as the capping of it,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
“Capping” means putting covers on treatment pools to keep the smell from wafting into residential neighborhoods.
“Although we think sometimes it’s better, then all of a sudden, you wake up one day, you come out and you can smell it again. I think whatever more can be done should be done,” Canty said.
More than $100 million to control odor is nothing to sniff at, but supporters say modernizing the plant is key to protecting the Hudson and promoting responsible river access and development.
When the feds open the spigot for infrastructure spending, Westchester wants some of the flood of cash to land there.MORE NEWS: Conservation Work Done On Gay Liberation Monument In Christopher Park
The Yonkers plant is one of six in Westchester County, and by far the biggest, serving about 500,000 residents and treating wastewater from as far north as Chappaqua.