Thursday, January 19, 2017

City Council meeting set on odor problems

   RICHMOND - The Richmond City Council will have a special study session Tuesday (Jan. 24) starting at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the ongoing noxious odor problems that have plagued Point Richmond, Richmond and surrounding communities since early fall.
     The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Community Services Building, 440 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond.
    The special meeting is expected to include representatives from Contra Costa County and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District as well as Richmond City officials. Earlier this week the City of Richmond posted a brief report on the city website with links to 10 separate documents related to the city's response to the problem.
    Here is the link to that posting: CITY REPORT ON ODORS.
  The BAAQMD and city officials believe the most likely source of the foul smells that have wafted over the area is the composting operation managed by Republic Services on Parr Road.   The company earlier this summer was found to have more than 10 times the amount of raw compost on site that it was permitted for.
    Much of that material was believed to have gone sour, prompting the stench that has flooded the area anytime the raw compost was moved. Since early fall, Republic has been moving the material directly to a Republic owned landfill in Pittsburgh. A new composting system - touted by Republic as being vastly superior to its former system of "windrows" - has been in place since Jan. 1. But several large piles of raw composting material remain on site.
 One issue the council is expected to discuss is if Republic Services is simply overwhelmed with too much raw composting material at the facility and can't process it adequately. Republic Services is accepting green waste for its composting operation from areas beyond Point Richmond and Richmond.
    Local residents have filed more than 400 complaints about the smell while also reporting health issues including sore throats, sinus problems and headaches.
    Following Tuesday's meeting, the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council will be taking up the matter at its meeting Wednesday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center. The PRNC has Republic Services officials on the agenda.
   The PRNC has also invited Chevron officials to attend.


Chevron company odor hotline: 510-242-2127
Bay Area Air Quality Management hotline - 1-800-334-6367
Contra Costa County's Lori Braunesreither, Department of Health
EMAIL: Lori Braunesreither. Direct Phone: 925-692-2528
Nicole Ewing, Richmond Code Enforcement (510-621-1591)
Bielle Moore, Republic Services community affairs manager
PHONES: (510-262-7547 or 510-205-4908)
Email: Bielle Moore