ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY)– A St. Mary Parish couple says they are tired of literally living next door to pigs.
For the past 18 years, the Aucoins have been battling odors, flies and pig waste spilling onto their property.
And for the past six years they have been legally battling to find a solution to fix it and say they just want a better quality of life.
Andrew Aucoin and his wife Peggy live near the Bayou Teche and say their lives have been turned upside down ever since their next-door neighbor built a hog pen.
“The Landrys started using their property for agricultural purposes and primarily to raise hogs on their property and to sell feed,” Aucoin said.
Over an 18-year span, three hog pens have been built causing waste, chemicals and pig urine to flow on their property and into the Teche.
Megan Terrell, an environmental attorney representing the Aucoins, said her clients reached out in 2016 to different agencies requesting help because their neighbors were violating multiple laws.
“So around 2016 the state agencies department of environmental quality and the department of natural resources, came out to the property and cited the Landry’s for violating the state water quality laws, the state solid waste laws, and for purposes of one of the hauled pins that was built in a wetland habitat and cited them for violation of the coastal use laws.” Terrell said.
On behalf of her clients, Terrell said she filed a motion for summary judgment to have the Landrys’ operation shut down to give the Aucoins temporary relief until a trial is set, but the motion was denied.
Instead, she said, the Aucoins will continue living in their current conditions until they appear before a jury.
“So we will be allowed to move forward with a jury trial,” Terrell said. “We’ll decide whether we also want to appeal the judge’s ruling from today.”
Terrell said they are concerned not only about the exposure to chemicals and waste, but the water being contaminated by what it is being allowed to run into it.
“That is certainly our argument that the operation should be shut down,” she said. “And then the Aucoins can go outside and have you know, family and friends over in their backyard. Which they’ve been unable to do for several years now.”