FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Barrio Logan Activists Demand a Stop to New Leaf Biofuel’s Putrid Smell
Community residents petition the San Diego Air Pollution Control District’s (SDAPCD) Hearing Board to order New Leaf Biofuel to pause operations until it can stop the terrible smell making people sick.
On October 27, 2022 the SDAPCD Hearing Board will consider the SDAPCD staff’s recommendation to approve a Stipulated Abatement Order to New Leaf Biofuel to address the terrible smell coming from the facility that is making residents sick. If approved as recommended, the Order would allow New Leaf until December 9 to resolve the issue with installation of an odor control system.
Environmental Health Coalition and community residents are demanding that the SDAPCD require New Leaf to pause their operation until the noxious odor is controlled. New Leaf has had almost a year to fix the stench with no result. Residents’ health should not be further impacted while New Leaf profits. EHC will present over 180 petition signatures demanding an end to the odor.
Thursday, October 27, 2022, at 9 AM
To join virtually, click https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83424596669
In addition to breathing some of the most diesel-polluted air in the state, New Leaf Biofuel’s neighbors have endured its sickening smell for years. Their neighbors report that the odor causes headaches, nausea, and irritation in their throats and eyes. In addition, they also report that the smell prevents them from spending time outside, opening their windows during heatwaves, and having guests over.
New Leaf processes millions of gallons of used cooking oil to produce biodiesel. This process creates the noxious smell. Chemicals and raw products used in the biodiesel making process can be extremely dangerous to people’s respiratory health. Within a few hundred feet of the facility, there are dozens of single-family homes, businesses, senior apartments, and a pre-school/daycare. Children in this neighborhood have more than double the rate of asthma emergency room visits than San Diego County as a whole.
Since November 2021, SDAPCD has received 21 resident complaints related to odor at New Leaf. This averages to about one official complaint every two weeks. During that time, SDAPCD conducted over 47 inspections issued three Notices of Violation related to the smell. New Leaf received the first Notice over 10 months ago in December of 2021. It wasn’t until 6 months later that New Leaf submitted a permit application with SDAPCD to install an odor control system. They have since requested 2 extensions delaying the installation of the system. During those 10 months, while New Leaf profited, residents continued to suffer from the toxic smell.
“New Leaf has been able to expand and profit, while residents continue to suffer, getting headaches and experiencing nausea as a result of the odor,” said Nicholas Paúl, Air Quality Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition. “Residents cannot relax outside, take walks, or use public spaces – children aren’t playing outside because of the smell.”
“New Leaf has had more than 10 months to find a way to stop the putrid smell that is making Barrio Logan residents sick,” said Diane Takvorian, Executive Director, Environmental Health Coalition. “The community has suffered enough and is calling on the SDAPCD Hearing Board to order New Leaf to pause operations until they install an odor control system.”
If you are interested in speaking with EHC’s policy expert, Nicholas Paúl, or an affected Barrio Logan resident to learn about their experience please contact Angelica Estrada. Her information is below.
Communications Director, Environmental Health Coalition