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MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Residents in southwestern Illinois are raising questions about the use of treated human waste as a fertilizer.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that rural Mascoutah residents want stricter regulations on so-called "sewage sludge" after a farmer fertilized his fields with it last year. Neighbors say the odor is stronger than manure and could be smelled up to four miles away.

An Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman says officials investigated the case and concluded that rules were followed. Using treated human waste as a fertilizer has been legal in Illinois since 1983.

Sarah Townsend lives near the site where the farmer fertilized with human waste. She says it smells like a dead animal and is worried the waste will spread beyond the field.

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Information from: Belleville News Democrat, http://www.bnd.com/

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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