SC wood pellet mill made people sick, neighbors say. Has it followed regulations?

Neighbors Jackie Reynolds, left, and Shannon Smith stand for a portrait in their Bass Lake neighborhood on Sept. 24, 2020 in Ridgeland, S.C. Reynolds fought to have signs placed to keep logging and box trucks from using the neighborhood as a cut through. On Sept. 20, 2020, environmental groups sent a letter with intent to sue to the owner of Jasper Pellets, a wood mill, who they say has been converting wood chips into pellets without having federal and state permits. Drew Martin DMARTIN@ISLANDPACKET.COM


Jackie Reynolds closes her eyes and massages her temples.

The throbbing headache is back.

It’s become all too regular.

Two doors down, Shannon Smith rolls over in bed and tries to fall back asleep.

Her clock says 4 a.m.

Between her husband’s coughing and the tractor trailers and logging trucks driving by her house off Tillman Road at all hours of the day — part of the wood pellet mill manufacturing plant near her Ridgeland neighborhood — she barely sleeps anymore.