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Kuna, company disagree over main source of smell

The city says the odor is annoying but poses no danger. (CBS 2 photo)

The City of Kuna has identified The L&R Group, LLC outside of town as the main contributer to that mysterious odor residents have been reporting, but a company spokesman says it's not the only source and feels unfairly singled out.

L&R is a non-hazardous soil and wastewater treatment and recycling facility on West Thompson Road near Kuna.

"We've had solar distillation ponds for six years," said Ryan Hardy, a company spokesman, "and in that time we've never had a smell problem more than just our neighbors down the street."

And the company says it's unlikey to be the primary source of any smell that's traveled as far and wide as the odor reported in and around Kuna, some twenty miles or more.

But the City of Kuna seems certain.

"It's not normal, it's not something that they would normally have happen," said Mayor Joe Stear, who says L&R is a good neighbor. "But in this case, it's kind of the perfect storm of everything happening altogether."

The city says the odor is annoying but poses no danger.

A few weeks ago, two of the company's new ponds were taken offline for routine testing by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). L&R says that, along with recent hot temperatures, may be one factor.

But the company says other facilities in the area may also be experiencing bacterial "blooms".

Still L&R says it is taking corrective action.

"We have an odor management plan for the DEQ and we're following that," said Hardy. "We're doing different things, such as aerating our ponds which helps...odor problems."

The DEQ says it cannot confirm L&R is the main source of the smell but the state says the company is in full compliance.

The state says it could take a few days fpor the smell to go away.

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