Stinky Deal: Hattiesburg seeks to void contract with USA Yeast

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg has gone to federal court seeking permission to void its 10 year old contract with USA Yeast.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday afternoon asking for a declaratory judgement so the city can void its contract. At the heart of the issue appears to be the terrible smell that has plagued downtown Hattiesburg and surrounding neighborhoods off and on for years. However, the odor issue is not addressed in the filing.

According to the lawsuit, USA Yeast discharges its wastewater into the city' s south lagoon. The contract says the only limitation is the company cannot discharge more than 800,000 gallons a day. After being treated, the city's wastewater is discharged into the Leaf river.

Back in June, MDEQ ordered Hattiesburg to lower its discharge in order to protect the water quality of the river. City officials asked MDEQ in September to impose lower discharge limits on yeast in order to comply with state regulations.  However, the company objected saying its contract with the city prevents lower discharge limits.

Wednesday's lawsuit seeks to have that contract voided so the city can limit and control the amount of quality of wastewater discharged into its system by USA Yeast. No date has been set for a hearing.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved