Dealing with rancid smells from five rendering plants in Vernon may no longer be a regular fact of life for residents in and around the city after the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted new regulations aimed at reducing the odors.
“For years, if not decades, periodic strong odors from these rendering facilities have impacted the quality of life for residents of environmental justice communities in Boyle Heights, Maywood, Commerce, Bell and other communities,” SCAQMD’s Executive Officer Wayne Nastri said. “This new rule will require sensible measures already employed in other parts of the state and the country to minimize these odors.”
Rendering plants use animal parts and carcasses and turn them into a number of products, including soap, fertilizer, cosmetics and pet food, but the resulting smells from five plants in the Vernon area have caused complaints from nearby residents for years.
The new rules require the plants to within 90 days cover incoming trucks, wash trucks out before they leave the plant, limit the time animal materials are allowed to be outdoors, repair cracks and holes in outdoor asphalt and concrete areas that can accumulate liquid materials and other measures.
The regulations also require the plants to within three years install either a total enclosure or a closed system for certain processes to keep odors from drifting out of their buildings.
“Boyle Heights has unfairly endured more environmental pollution than most neighborhoods in the city and county,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who lives in Boyle Heights with his family, before the meeting. “And for decades, the smell pollution from nearby rendering plants has been part of our reality as Boyle Heights’ residents. That needs to change.”
The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
–City News Service
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