After delaying a vote on the matter in February, the City Council of Irwindale, CA has unanimously voted to declare the embattled Huy Fong Foods factory a public nuisance. The LA Times reports that once the "expected official resolution" goes into effect, the factory will have 90 days to solve its alleged odor issues. According to the Associated Press, the declaration "will allow city officials to enter the factory and make changes if the odors persist after the deadline."
This isn't the only course of action that Irwindale has taken against the hot sauce makers. Back in the Fall the city took Huy Fong Foods to court, with residents complaining that the factory's production caused unpleasant odors and burning eyes. In late November, a judge ordered that Huy Fong Foods cease any operations that cause irritating odors, although how exactly they were supposed to do that was unspecified. The judge also made it clear that there was a "lack of credible evidence" linking the various cited ailments like burning eyes and headaches to the odors. A trial is set for November.
Still, the City Council's declaration comes as something of a surprise. At February's city council meeting an official from the South Coast Air Quality Management District reported 40 out of 61 complaints about the factory came from just four households. South Coast Air Quality Management District also told the council: "We have not determined that there has been a public nuisance that requires us to take any enforcement action."
South Coast Air Quality Management District has reportedly offered assistance to Huy Fong Foods in coming up with a plan to solve the odor problem. An attorney for the Sriracha producers says the company will submit a plan to solve the problem by June 1 and adds: "The City Council is determined to assert its authority regardless of the status of the odor remediation efforts."
· Irwindale Council Declares Sriracha Smell a Public Nuisance [LAT]
· California City Declares Sriracha Maker a Nuisance [AP]
· Sriracha Factory Allowed to Continue Operating (For Now) [-E-]