Odors from CA Bio Mass

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Letter: Supervisor Benoit praised for getting results
Jun. 30, 2012, The Desert Sun
Letters To The Editor

We at the Concerned Citizens of La Quinta are extremely proud of how Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit helped us bring to the attention of the proper agencies the odors emanating from the California Bio-Mass plant, which affected the communities in the southeastern portion of La Quinta.

We put our faith in John and let the process work. Mr. Benoit, I want you to know that your staff has been superb in their handling of this situation, and you get an A+ from me, our executive committee and all 402 members of the Concerned Citizens of La Quinta organization and this effort put forth by you  will be stated at our next meeting on July 10th.

Thank you so very much.

Robert F. Sylk, Chairman, Concerned Citizens of La Quinta


California Bio-Mass plant to cut waste, odor in La Quinta
Sylk: Recycling facility should move, even so
Written by Blake Herzog, The Desert Sun
June 20, 2012

A Thermal agricultural recycling and organics company will cut back on grease waste in a bid to reduce odor complaints from Trilogy in south La Quinta, Riverside County officials said Tuesday.

California Bio-Mass Inc. will reduce by 25 percent the amount of grease trap waste and grease water it accepts and take other steps to stifle smells emanating from its compost piles, according to a press release from County Supervisor John Benoit.

The measures were proposed by Benoit and the county’s Department of Environmental Health, which will continue to investigate the problem. The odors are not causing any health hazards, the county said.

“We are optimistic that these changes will decrease odors originating from this facility,” said John Watkins, deputy director of the county community health agency.

Watkins said California Bio-Mass is cooperating with the county and discussions of other possible changes are under way.

Company president Michael Hardy said “We are working diligently with the community and and with our local regulatory agencies. These measures reflect our company’s approach as a responsive and responsible neighbor.”

Robert Sylk, a La Quinta resident who has led the effort to get the county involved and says he has collected 250 signatures on a petition calling for action, said the actions aren’t enough.

He said it’s true California Bio-Mass has been around longer than residents of the homes of Trilogy about a mile away, but the company’s major growth has come since the residents moved in.

“The thing is we don’t want to force them to go out of business; we think it’s time for them to move,” Sylk said.

County officials told the La Quinta City Council June 5 that the number of odor complaints from Trilogy has gone down.

Out of more than 30 formal complaints from the neighborhood since last fall, four have been traced directly to California Bio-Mass, officials said at that time.

Other agrarian uses in the area could be responsible for at least some of the other complaints, they said.

The county is encouraging residents to contact California Bio-Mass at (888) 399-7220 or feedback@californiabiomass.com or the South Coast Air Quality Management District at (800) 288-7664 to report any odors.

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