South Sound News

Pacific porta-potty lawsuit could go class-action

PACIFC, Wash. — Neighbors in one South Sound city are fed up with the smell of porta-potties - right outside their homes. After complaining about it for years, they've decided to take the matter to court.

“The smell, it’s the same as a porta-potty standing right next to your door. It’s hard to be outside,” said Ganna Shtogryn, a mom of three kids in the affected Pacific neighborhood.

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People who live near Chinook Avenue, deal with an odor that KIRO 7 could also smell. They say it’s coming from Northwest Cascade, a company that drains and cleans out Honey Bucket porta-potties. On Monday, the scent in the neighborhood was there, though it wasn’t so strong. However, neighbors say on other days, the scent is unbearable.

“Sometimes the smell is so heavy it engulfs your home, whether your windows are open or not. And it's just really difficult to live in this environment now,” said Samantha Niemi, another mother in the neighborhood.

Neighbors say the closest homes are just 300 feet away from the plant. They say when they bought their homes, Northwest Cascade wasn’t cleaning porta-potties there. Now, there’s a water treatment plant to handle the waste from the portable toilets.

It's something that has the people who live in the area worried, especially for the health of their kids.

“When they're playing outside, they have their shirts over their faces. We're really scared about the future of the kids in the area,” Niemi said.

They hope their lawsuit against Northwest Cascade will force the company to move.

An attorney representing neighbors says the company is violating both a Washington State statute for nuisance and Puget Sound clean air agency regulations.

Northwest Cascade responded to KIRO7 with this statement:

“Northwest Cascade has been in business in the Pacific Northwest for 50 years, and believes the evidence and law are on its side with respect to this lawsuit.  However,  because the litigation is ongoing, we will not provide any further comment at this time.”

Ganna Shtogryn, wants Northwest Cascade to put itself in her shoes.

“I think nobody wants to experience what we experience, even the company or anybody,” she said.

A Pierce County judge takes up the matter next Friday and will decide if there's enough evidence for dozens of neighbors in the area to pursue a class action lawsuit.