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Residents seek county help on plant odor

March 13, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

Problems from an odor at the Brawley Beef plant seeped into the county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

The smell coming from the Brawley Beef plant is unhealthy and causes headaches, nausea and vomiting, Brawley resident Hugo Dominguez said.

Dominguez is a spokesman for the Clean Air Committee, a group of residents who have complaints about the odor coming from the plant, which opened in January.

The odor is so bad many residents are forced to stay indoors, he said.

The smell apparently comes from biological waste ponds and the plant itself. The ponds are supposed to be contained but the city of Brawley said the containers are on back order, Dominguez said.


These odors are prohibited by the federal Clean Air Act, he said.

In early February, angry residents confronted the Brawley City Council.

"We asked the Brawley City Council to look at this, but they are dragging their feet," Dominguez said.

The committee is asking the supervisors for support.

Supervisor Gary Wyatt said he lives near the plant and has the same problems with its smell.

Wyatt said the county Air Pollution Control District hearing board scheduled a public hearing for 1 p.m. March 21.

Supervisor Joe Maruca asked if the time could be moved to 6 p.m. so working people could attend.

"If you don't want the public at a public meeting, hold it at 1 p.m.," Maruca said.

County Air Pollution Control Officer Stephen Birdsall said he will see if the hearing time can be rescheduled. If it is changed, a notice will be published in this newspaper.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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