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Nauseating Odor in York and Lancaster Counties

Lancaster County, SC, April 28, 2021
  • Odor Reports
Here’s a screenshot of locations in eastern York County and Lancaster County where recent odor complaints have been filed with SC DHEC. This is a terrible smell that’s been going on for months. It’s literally made some people sick, and everyone affected is fed up.
For background information for those who may not be familiar, SC DHEC has identified the New Indy Containerboard facility in Catawba, SC as a “significant contributor” to this odor. But experts have not yet determined whether New Indy is the *sole* contributor, or whether other factors may also play a role. (For example, is it possible that winds are combining particulates from New Indy with others – either natural sources or other nearby facilities – to amplify this horrible odor?)
Meanwhile, New Indy has released details of a study they commissioned which suggested the smell is not coming from them. It’s worth noting, however, that SC DHEC’s investigation and air sampling appears to be more comprehensive.
My staff and I have received countless calls and emails about this issue, and I will continue to stay on top of it. Because this falls under the jurisdiction of the state of South Carolina, the lead agency here is SC DHEC. State Senators Michael Johnson and Wes Climer, along with State Reps. Sandy McGarry and Brandon Newton and others have been working hard on this issue.
What’s happening here is NOT acceptable. The source(s) of this odor must be found and remedied as quickly as possible, and I’m very pleased that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has joined this investigation at SC DHEC’s request, along with other agencies from North Carolina and Mecklenburg County.
If you live in Lancaster or York Counties and smell a rotten odor, please take a moment to complete this form on the SC DHEC website:
The more data points they have, the more it helps pinpoint the source(s). And to keep track of this investigation, please bookmark this website: