Make the call

Do you remember the cold front that came through last Thursday evening, May 10? The breeze was strong, cool and humidity chasing. It was a beautiful thing. The beauty was short-lived. I ran to close the windows to prevent the nasty odor being emitted from the JBS plant from permeating our home.

I immediately pick up my cell phone and access my speed dial for Odor Control (Marshalltown City Sewer Maintenance). For those of you who may not be aware, Joe Citizen is JBS odor control. Your only defense to keep the air we breath clear of obnoxious odor is to call 754-5709. The friendly and conscientious folks that answer will ask you what your address is (to track how far-reaching the odors are) and what the stench is comparable to. They in turn contact the plant to inform them that the odor emissions are occurring and corrective action is needed. It has been my experience that it is much improved in 30 minutes or so. If an hour passes with no improvement, call again.

This all too familiar happenstance likely contributes to an individual’s decision on whether to live here or not. It is inconceivable to me that in this day and age of advanced technological means, that JBS does not have a better handle on their processes that control their plant emissions. Perhaps there are some controls in place, but obviously not enough.

I live 2.3 miles south of JBS. I grew up just a few blocks from this operation and my goodness how things have changed. I am so weary of making these calls.

My purpose in submitting this note is twofold. One, to make Joe Citizen aware that they have the power to make a difference in the quality of life and fresh air that we breathe in Marshalltown … call the number immediately. Two, to challenge our largest employer to be a better corporate citizen and invest in the odor controls necessary to support clean fresh air. I know it’s feasible, and they know it’s feasible … we are worth the investment. Townspeople should never have to make that phone call.