LOSTANT, Ill. -- More than 50 Wenona-area residents are sending out an S.O.S.
But they said this distress signal is not just for them. It is for everyone who lives along the Illinois River.
"We are worried about the waste management and potential odor," said Lostant resident Leslie Smith. "There are a lot of pests that come along with all of this waste."
A new proposal could put about 20,000 pigs in a facility at a location in rural Marshall country.
The animals would all be contained under-roof and used for breeding purposes.
Manure would be stored at the facility and eventually used as fertilizer in surrounding fields.
But residents said the smell is just part of the problem. They think their creek, which dumps into the Illinois River in Henry, is in serious jeopardy of pollution.
"I am concerned why they even picked this particular location," said Lostant resident Mike Phillips. "There are a lot of sites that are away from flood plains that are not on sloping grounds. This seems like a strange place to pick."
The operator of the proposed facility is VMC Management Corporation. They were not reached for comment.
The proposal must get a recommendation from the county and pass Illinois Department of Agriculture criteria.
A state hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Fieldcrest Middle School in Wenona.