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Huntersville farm settles over smell

A farming operation in Huntersville that's been blamed for creating quite a stink has settled with the state. WFAE's Julie Rose has more: Wallace Farm in Huntersville does a variety of things, including raising miniature horses, growing hay and producing compost. The compost part is what apparently caused the stink. Late last year, Huntersville residents complained of an unusually foul odor, which the State Division of Waste Management determined it was in violation of the farm's permit. The issue went to mediation and North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Spokesman Jamie Kritzer says the farm has agreed to use a new method for covering its compost piles and monitoring oxygen levels. "Lack of oxygen during the compositing process is what brings about the strong odors," says Kritzer. The settlement with the state also requires Wallace Farm to stop using a certain type of waste in its compost piles believed to be a major factor in the foul odors. The farm and the state agreed not to disclose the nature of that waste item, claiming it is proprietary. However, Kritzer says Wallace Farm's permit allows for composting manure, table scraps and yard waste like leaves and grass clippings. The smell may be moot before long, though, since Wallace Farm says it plans to relocate its main composting operation to another county within five years.