What’s that smell? Residents in West Nashville Raise Concerns

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Residents in West Nashville are complaining of a chemical smell in the air, some describe it as a gasoline odor, others as metal. 

The smell is hitting homes near Annex and Robertson Avenues. 

“It’s a very pungent smell. It does have a chemical like odor to it,” Craig Brabson told News 2. 

It’s not a sulphur smell or rotten egg smell, they say. 
“It’s more than just hydrogen sulfide it’s very, very chemical like,” Jenny Brabson explained. 

The Brabson’s say they have smelled the odor since moving into the neighborhood about 8 months ago. 

“We bought this house over here because this was our ideal home for a forever home,” the couple said adding that they are now considering moving. 
They are worried that the odor is not only effecting their quality of life, but their health.

“It irritates his lungs when that’s happening and he works at home you know out in the yard and he has problems breathing when it ends up happening on those days.”

Metro health department officials tell News 2 that they have investigated the smell a number of times, confirming an odor at the Reostone quarry. They went on to explain that they believe the smell is from ground water being sprayed on the rocks to suppress the dust. However, the Bransons are concerned what could have seeped into that water. 

“They use water from a pit that’s at the bottom of the quarry, so it’s this water that’s sitting down there that’s stagnant, that is underground water. So there are these anaerobic bacteria that can produce hydrogen sulfide and while that is a natural process they are using this water to spray some of this rock down so that means it’s aerosolized, but what are concern is to with the water is what else is in that water.”


TDEC tells News 2 that while they do not have the authority to regulate odors, they will be reviewing the permit at the quarry to identify any potential compliance issues or best management practices that may be contributing to an odor. 

Metro Public Heath Department officials tell News 2 that the quarry is in compliance with their department.

Rogers Group Inc that operates the Reostone quarry sent a statement saying: We are aware of the complaints. The health department has been out to inquire as to the source of a “chemical” smell. Rogers Group does not use chemicals in its process crushing stone and does not believe that the quarry is the source of the issue. Reostone Quarry is operating as it has for decades in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. Rogers Group will continue to be responsive to any government agencies.

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