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Brawley: Odors could be coming from plant itself

February 20, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — City officials have said the odors produced by the wastewater ponds in the newly opened beef-processing facility in the northeastern reaches of this city have been reduced by Solar Bees, a newly implemented aeration device meant to block odors.

However, the odors filling the air also could be coming from the beef plant itself, City Manager Jerry Santillan said Tuesday night during the public comment period of the City Council meeting.

Of the Solar Bees, Santillan said two have been installed in each of the plant's three wastewater ponds, adding there is a reduction in the odor.

He said a pipe that feeds the waste into the first pond also has been fixed. The submerged pipe was pointing straight up causing the waste at the bottom to float to the surface of the ponds.


The Solar Bees were installed to produce a thick cap of air that block the odors from escaping.

Santillan said Tuesday a new odor has been filling the air around Brawley and it seems to be emanating from the rendering area of the plant. However, he said he's not sure.

The report from Santillan came after Brawley resident Frank Valadez appeared before the council during public session Tuesday and asked for an update on the beef plant odor problem.

Valadez told the council he had heard the first of the three waste ponds should have been covered before the plant started production.

However, no one on the council commented to Valadez's claims and Valadez did not explain what he meant.

Mayor Toni Carrillo asked Santillan to ask beef plant officials when such a cover would be placed on the first pond.

Councilman Steve Vasquez told Santillan maybe a couple council members should go to the beef plant for an inspection of sorts.

"We're not bio-chemists or anything like that, but we have pretty good noses," Vasquez said.

Vasquez also suggested they should have emergency meetings, if necessary, to resolve the odor issue.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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