In November Seattle Weekly's Nina Shapiro detailed the smelly controversy brewing over Cedar Grove's two composting plants. Neighbors of the operations in Maple Valley and Everett say the plants stink and are making life miserable, while Cedar Grove officials say they're doing everything possible to mitigate the stench that's part of the composting process.
Yesterday two groups of fed up neighbors representing over 300 people near the two plants filed lawsuits - one in King County and one in Snohomish County - seeking damages for the "annoyance, inconvenience and substantial personal discomfort" they say Cedar Grove's composting operations have caused them.
The lawsuits argue that: "Cedar Grove's operations have created a nuisance through the recurrent off-site emissions of noxious odors. As a proximate consequence of Cedar Grove's tortious conduct, Plaintiffs have suffered, and will continue to suffer, damages including, but not limited to: (1) the loss of use and enjoyment of their properties; (2) substantial and unreasonable interference with the quiet use and enjoyment of their property; and, (3) annoyance, inconvenience and substantial personal discomfort."
If the suit-filing groups hope to win, they'll have to prove that the stench in question is a result of Cedar Grove's operation. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency study is already looking into Cedar Grove's Everett operation. As Shapiro's cover story highlighted, since Cedar Grove's Everett facility opened in 2004, more than 2,500 complaints have been filed with the PSCAA.
In an email to the Seattle Times, Cedar Grove spokeswoman Susan Thoman tells the paper she has yet to see the suits, but that "generally, we are continuing efforts to improve odor management."