By Ross Guidotti


WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — Jeannette’s hemp-drying facility is going to reopen.

After being shut down by the city last month following several code violations, complaints from neighbors and employees who said they did not get paid, the Patriot Shield plant is reopening.

“This is so bad. You have a hard time breathing. The smell is horrible. It will give you a headache. It nauseates me,” neighbor Janet Davis said.

Davis lives within sight of the hemp-drying facility in Jeannette.

She is one of the residents who have been complaining about the excessive odor emanating from the Thomas Avenue operation.

“It’s like a rock knocks me back, and me being sick, I shouldn’t have to tolerate stuff like that,” Davis said.

The company and the DEP signed a consent agreement allowing the plant to resume operations.

There will be changes to how it functions, Patriot Shield must pay a $29,000 fine and an odor control mitigation plan for future operations must be submitted by March 2020.

“I wish they had closed it down, I really do,” Davis said.

The DEP also mandated other stipulations, including Patriot Shield being subjected to an escalating scale of stipulated penalties for future odor violations that start at $8,000 per day and can escalate to $25,000.

“I don’t like them being in the neighborhood at all,” Davis said.