Families frustrated as smell continues to fill west Lawton neighborhoods

Families frustrated as smell continues to fill west Lawton neighborhoods

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - If you live anywhere near west Lawton, and more specifically Republic Paper you’ve likely experienced a strong odor.

We don’t know exactly what the problem is because Republic never called KSWO back, but Councilman Randy Warren said it’s some sort of waste, and the smell comes from it flowing too fast through pipes not big enough to support the flow.

Lawton families living on the west side likely know all about the smell coming from Republic Paper, but what causes that smell?

“When Republic moves that affluent so fast it causes it to cavitate, almost like boil, but it doesn’t really boil, just gives it turbulence, and that’s where the smell comes from,” said Ward 8 City Councilman Randy Warren.

Warren said city staff is concerned with the odor.

“Republic needs to do a better job of controlling the flow, so that we don’t have the big dump that causes the problem,” said Warren.

But Republic getting rid of the smell is something one woman living in west Lawton said she has heard before.

“I’ve understood they did something last year and it improved, but now it’s worse. There’s no way all of us should be subjected to that horrible smell,” said Linda Tessmer.

And on Tuesday...Tessmer said it was about as bad as she can remember.

"It was horrible, it was actually making me sick to my stomach."

Two miles straight north of the Republic Plant, Mike Thompson said he understands how important Republic is to the local economy, but he’s tired of the smell lingering in and around his new home.

“It might cost so much money to get rid of the smell that they couldn’t run the operation, and of course I don’t want that, but boy if they could do something, that would be swell,” said Mike Thompson.

While speaking about his frustration, the odor arrived out of nowhere.

“And then... yep there it is, and see I haven’t smelt it all day. Now it’s here,” said Thompson.

Warren said the city will be on top of Republic to make sure they are doing all the pre-treatment correctly.

“If at any point, they aren’t, the city will address that with them, as far as forcing them to be compliant to the pre-treatment," said Warren.

Councilman Warren said in the meeting with Republic, they made it clear the odor wasn’t harmful.

He said even if it’s not causing any health issues, it’s still important for Republic to fix this because it really can be miserable for people living on the West Side of Lawton.

Copyright 2019 Texoma News Network. All rights reserved.