Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neighbors Complain, Cite Odor from Firm Company's Letter Outlines Steps to Help Solve Problem

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neighbors Complain, Cite Odor from Firm Company's Letter Outlines Steps to Help Solve Problem

Article excerpt

Something stinks in the Missouri Research Park, say the neighbors in Weldon Spring Heights.

The odor apparently is coming from Pohlman Inc., one of the tenants in the park. Pohlman makes machine tools used in making parts for air bags for cars.

Pohlman executives could not be reached for comment. While not admitting that the company is the source of the problem, they have sent the trustees a letter outlining steps they are taking to eliminate any odors they might cause. Rick Finholt, executive director of the park, said the odor was not dangerous. Nonetheless, he said the company was taking steps to fix the problem. Weldon Springs Heights residents acknowledge that the company and the park administration have been trying to help but say the odor problem hasn't gone away. The residents called the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and investigator Paul Schell has spent three months trying to pinpoint the source of the problem. Schell said that the agency can take action only if it can identify the source of the problem and if a third of a sample of residents in the area complain. Theresa and Michael Heitkamp took care of the complaint requirement, gathering more than 30 signatures on a petition. That's one-third of the residents of Weldon Spring Heights. The petition asks the state to investigate and help in any way it can. But Schell can't find the source of the odor. Since February, he has traveled several times from his office in Sunset Hills to Weldon Spring Heights in response to residents' complaints. "I've driven through this area several times and have yet to smell the odor the residents are complaining about," said Schell. Last week, he said he "smelled a faint odor, almost like the smell you have when you let the air out of a tire." Heitkamp has described the smell as being like that of sulfur. Theresa Heitkamp said the entire ordeal has been frustrating. "It's really bad at night and on cloudy days," said Heitkamp, who was elected as a Weldon Spring trustee on April 2. …

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