Barrio Logan activists launch petition urging San Diego Air Pollution Control District’s (SDAPCD) Hearing Board to stop New Leaf Biofuel from producing a terrible odor that is making residents sick, including seniors living at Barrio Senior Villas Apartments.
BARRIO LOGAN, CA, October 5, 2022– Today, on California Clean Air Day, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) and community leaders will launch a petition drive urging the SDAPCD Hearing Board to stop New Leaf Biofuel from producing a hazardous odor that is making residents sick. EHC invites community members to visit Barrio Senior Villas Apartments, located on 2322 Newton Ave, San Diego, CA, 92113, today from 3 PM to 7 PM to sign the petition and learn how they can fight for clean air. They will also be giving out Youth Opportunity Passes and free air monitors and purifiers to qualified residents.
“What the seniors at Barrio Senior Villas, and the surrounding community, are suffering because of New Leaf Biofuel is unacceptable and would never happen in a neighborhood like Coronado or Del Mar,” said Diane Takvorian, EHC Executive Director. “The community isn’t going to let this continue. That is why we are standing in solidarity with them on Clean Air Day and every day until they can breathe easy.”
Located across the street from Barrio Senior Villas Apartments, New Leaf Biofuel is a company that processes used cooking oil to produce biodiesel. This process creates a noxious smell. Chemicals and raw products used in the biodiesel-making process can be extremely dangerous to people’s respiratory health. Within 100-600ft of the facility, there are dozens of single-family homes, businesses, and a preschool/daycare. In addition to breathing some of the most diesel-polluted air in the state, New Leaf’s neighbors have endured its smell for years.
“On some days, the smell from New Leaf burns our throats and eyes, and makes us want to throw up,” explained Miguel Espinosa, the property manager at the Barrio Senior Villas Apartment complex. “With the heatwave this past month, it has been very difficult for my residents and I because the complex doesn’t have air conditioning. Several of my residents had to choose between keeping their windows closed and risking heat exhaustion or opening their windows and getting sick from the smell – it’s really a dangerous situation.”
On September 9,2022, SDAPCD sent a letter to New Leaf Biolfuel’s president Jennifer Case. The letter explained that after more than 17 official community complaints, over 47 APCD Air Quality Inspector visits, and 3 Notices of Violation related to odors, SDAPCD will file a petition with the District Hearing Board requesting an Order for Abatement. This order would require New Leaf to stop the creation of nuisance odors.
“New Leaf has a history of being a bad neighbor, and SDAPCD’s action is a powerful statement,” said Nicholas Paúl, EHC Air Quality Advocate. “Through this letter, SDAPCD is sending a clear message to industry that the health and quality of life of San Diego residents matters, and that industry cannot ignore community complaints and notices of violation by SDAPCD.”
A hearing to discuss the Abatement Order will occur on October 27, 2022, from 9 AM-11 AM at the County Administration Center (Room 358). EHC invites community members to participate and share their lived experiences.
The petition to stop New Leaf from producing the sickening odor can be signed online at bit.ly/NewLeafPetition.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION
Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and climate change. Visit www.environmentalhealth.org to learn more.