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Newport launches odor report system

The city of Newport is taking odors into its own hands.

A new feature launched on the city website last week allows residents to submit information about odors they detect, including the where, when, wind direction, type and intensity of smell.

The options are not confined to the usual suspects such as garbage and foul or putrid odors, but also smoke, sewer smell, exhaust, fresh-cut wood or grass, manure, compost or a sweet, fruity smell.

The long-term goal of the data collection is mitigation of the stenches often detected in Newport, Mayor Dan Lund said.

"People have been aware of odors for a long time," he said. "My hope is to collect a detailed record for as long as it takes."

The Ramsey/ Washington County Recycling and Energy Center is wrapping up its odor mitigation study, with results expected by February or March, but Newport's collection will have a wider scope to include odors beyond the recycling center.

"I don't think they're the only one," Lund said.

City officials have spoken for a long time about facilities in South St. Paul being odor producers as well, but have not made progress mitigating the emissions. Lund hopes the online submissions will provide evidence that some of the odors originate there.

"I think we need more information before we can push too strongly with the odor emitters across the river," he said. "We need that kind of data to show what kind of impact odor emitters are having on the city. The more info we have, the stronger argument we'll have."

See the form at www.ci.newport.mn.us/contact-newport-odor-report.php.

Code violations

A code violation form also was added the city website.

The form allows residents to submit information about properties in Newport that appear to be in violation of city ordinances.

"There are some people who have been upset about code violations for a long time," Lund said. "People want an outlet to report code violation."

Staff will investigate the property after the form is submitted and issue violations as necessary.

See the form at www.ci.newport.mn.us/contact-newport-code-violation.php.

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