Prague’s neighbors rebuff area’s cannabis facility
PRAGUE, Okla. (KFOR) – Decades after Misty Novotny’s parents brought a sprawling piece of land to Prague, they say a marijuana grow operation across the street has turned their dream home into a nightmare.
“My parents bought their land many years ago and built their dream house there, along with many other neighbors, only to find themselves stuck inside [of their homes] because the air quality is unbreathable,” Misty said.
“My mom has had a terrible cough for a while now, and I thought maybe it was because of her open-heart surgery,” she said. “But the longer I was here, the more I thought, ‘Well, I wonder if it might just be the air quality. What is pumped out of the grow house? »
“It was hard to breathe and the smell was just awful,” she added with a grimace. “[It’s] as if you had literally been sprayed by a skunk.
Novotny and other neighbors say the once-serene community several miles off the I-40 highway in Prague has been under threat since the growhouse property moved nearby after 2020.
They are now concerned about a host of occupational and health risks, including standards and compliance, water quality and contamination, in addition to the inconveniences associated with toxic odor.
“They’re pouring into the water at my house,” said another neighbor, Randy McKee. “And last year I had a big fish kill in my pond, I don’t know what that had to do with it, but I had dead fish all over the pond,” he said. he adds. “It’s mean and non-compliant.”
Concerns about the dangers of cannabis shows are not new.
To research citing the industry’s potential impact on air pollution has steadily increased as the prevalence and popularity of the drug has increased; more recent studies have also linked secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke to a host of health effects and ecological risks.
In an email to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality confirming those concerns, the state agency said it was not “actively engaged in determining possible emissions in marijuana grow houses”.
Representatives mentioned the need for permits for some marijuana grow houses, usually related to waste streams and proper sewage disposal, as well as a general license for properties.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Authority also released a statement on the matter, telling the station that there are guidelines for licensed producers to protect air quality.
“While our rules do not specifically address air quality, we urge all licensed producers to follow the recommendations of their local municipality and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality,” Porsha said. Riley, public information officer, in an email.
In an interview with KFOR on Wednesday, the group raised additional concerns, including worries about unusual nighttime activity, including large trucks seen leaving the property.
They think they are indicators that the operation may not be a licensed grow facility.
Novotny said Wednesday night that the group contacted its local congressman and hoped state officials would formally investigate the activity.
“We just want this place to be investigated and brought up to standard…no cultivation that will end up harming our soil, air and water,” she said.
“I have nothing against free enterprise if it’s done right,” Randy added. “But if it’s not done well, they have to shut them down.”
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