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Residents file lawsuit against ND Paper mill in Old Town, Maine

OLD TOWN, Maine (From news reports) -- ND Paper Mill in Old Town is facing legal trouble after a class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Bangor.

Two residents in neighboring towns roughly 2.5 miles away are suing the plant, claiming the foul-smelling odors emitted from the plant caused property damage through nuisance, trespass, and negligence.

The mill shut down in 2015 and remained closed until ND Paper bought it in 2018 and resumed operations.

According to court documents, the mill uses chemicals to break down wood fibers which produce gas emissions in the form of sulfur, and gives off a "rotten egg odor."

More than 120 neighbors of the plaintiffs report also being affected by the odor.

The plaintiffs claim they can't open their windows or go for walks outside their homes because of the smell, according to the documents.

In response to questions about the lawsuit, ND Paper's legal team shared the following statement:

"ND Paper is committed to the success of the Old Town Division and the local community. After sitting idle for three years, the facility was acquired in October 2018 and has become an integral part of ND Paper's 100-year vision. Since that time, ND Paper invested over $200 million to modernize the plant, including several significant improvements in the past month alone. Its operation has enhanced the Maine economy through the creation of nearly 200 high-paying direct jobs, approximately 1000 indirect and induced jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending on materials and services.

'Unfortunately, we cannot comment on pending litigation, other than to firmly assert we believe the claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend our company."

The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury in this case.

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