Clearing the Air: Portable Toilets Moved After Vendors Near Nationals Park Complain of Smell

The air has cleared around Nationals Park after some street vendors complained of the sickening smell caused but portable toilets at a construction site.

Brenda Sayles has been a vendor on Half Street SE since Nats Park opened. She said the portable toilets made her sick.

“They've been reeking of fecal matter,” she said. “I personally caught pneumonia, double pneumonia, earlier during the season when they had the first group of SaniJohns out here. The city had them moved. Now they're back again.”

Other vendors shared her complaints.

“I said it makes you sick,” said Larry Owens, who works at a hot dog stand. “It stinks. It really stinks.”

Sayles said during weeks when the Nationals are in town, tens of thousands of fans walk down Half Street exposed to the noxious odor.

“I reached out to several city officials, and so far this whole week, the SaniJohns are still here,” she said.

The portable toilets are meant for construction crews and are located on private land. The supervisor for the mixed-use development said the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ordered the portable toilets moved away from the vendors Friday. Minutes later, workers moved the toilets.

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