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SRIRACHA plant in Irwindale, CA in trouble


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If the city is successful in requiring additional filtering systems, costing more than half a million dollars, the price of this ESSENTIAL sauce may rise.

Here's the story.

I plan on stocking up if it looks like this is going to be a problem. Although we do have some time before things get more volitile! :hmmm:

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I think that they should move out of that city and state.

I'll bet Texas would have them. :cool:

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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If you've ever BEEN in Irwindale....you would know that the smell of chiles is an improvement to the ambient air quality ! :laugh::wink:

Seriously....I find it amazing that the City management/governance is being so business-unfriendly about this, and has actually asked a judge to shut them down pending the installation of the air scrubbers. Long Beach would LOVE to have them ! So would most cities in the LA area, Some comments to the article on the LA Time's web site today implied that perhaps the city officials had missed a kickback or two. Dunno about that, but I really have to say the attitude of the city is perplexing at best.

As an aside, the local air quality management district (SCAQMD) has found no issues with the plant. As someone who, in a previous life, had a LOT of dealings with this agency, I can speak to how rigorous they are.

*Something* don't smell right here, and it ain't the chiles !

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--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I agree that there are a lot of smelly things in Irwindale that are a lot more annoying than the Siracha plant.

One reporter was on the roof, shown the EXISTING high tech filtration equipment and right over the exhaust there were no fumes.

Apparently only a few "neighbors" have complained and one man said he had never noticed it but one woman claimed it had spoiled a wedding party in their yard. Inside the plant it was pretty harsh.

At the same time the city is crying about low tax revenues because some businesses have left.

Remember, Irwindale was the city that spend a HUGE bundle of money on a STUDY on the feasibility of building a football stadium (for the Raiders) back in 1999, only to have it all fall flat. Big waste of money. The city does not have a great track record on managing finances.

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Irwindale, in the Sante Fe Dam Recreational Area, has been home to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire since 2005. I have reason to be there not only on faire weekends but also during the week all through the late winter and spring months. Unless this plant JUST moved from Rosemead then whatever smell they are emitting, if any, is hard to detect. I wonder if there were complaints in Rosemead?

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Listening to the radio to and from the store - a man who lives a block from the factory said he moved to Irwindale from Gilroy and to him, the pepper aroma is like "perfume" compared to the stuff he had to smell in Gilroy.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Now here is where I really am sort of crazy. The other faire we do is on the pass between the San Joaquin Valley and Gilroy and we have reason to drive into Gilroy, drivng right past the huge processing plant. I love the smell. We have a friend who works there even. She has never had anythng to say about the smell.

Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Were these complainers aware that there was a Sriracha plant extant when they moved there? I imagine they were, so get over it Complainers.

When I lived in Santa Maria there was a large sugar plant in Sisquoc that processed sugar beets in granulated sugars. It smelled bad, but not so bad it was intolerable. Likewise, when I was a child we lived in Visalia and the winery there was quite smelly. Sulfur-y, like rotten eggs. Now the Campbell's Soup Plant in New Jersey smelled great!

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When I lived in Santa Maria there was a large sugar plant in Sisquoc that processed sugar beets in granulated sugars

And the one in Betteravia. I will take the smell of chilis over processing sugar beets any day.

I don't know if there is much sugar beet farming there any more. A lot of those fields became vineyards.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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My dad still lives in Santa Maria. I'll have to ask him next time I talk to him, I remember when I was in high school that most of the fields were being turned into vineyards. There are a lot of wineries up in San Luis Obispo and then back toward Solvang and Santa Barbara.

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Were these complainers aware that there was a Sriracha plant extant when they moved there? I imagine they were, so get over it Complainers.

It's my understanding that Huy Fong has only been at that location for 3 years, having moved there some time in 2010.

Sounds like it was a bad move!!!!!!

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I live in Wilmington DE, which is only about 10-15 miles from the Kennett Square, PA area - mushroom capital of the world! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennett_Square,_Pennsylvania I used to live and work even closer. On some warm summer days there can definitely be an "eau de mushroom" in the air, but really, it isn't that big a deal. Its just part of the atmosphere. I'd rather smell that then car exhaust or a paper mill.

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Apparently other business owners in the city want the plant to stay open because they get a lot of business from WORKERS at the plant and some of the workers actually live in the "affected" area.

It seems like a small rather vocal group did not consider that the COST to the city for the plant leaving would be detrimental.

Another Irwindale resident stated on air that back when all the gravel pits were operating in the city, and on windy days the stuff blowing all over the area was raining down on cars, swimming pools and etc., none of these people made any complaints and that stuff was much worse and much more widespread.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I wonder if there was any hot chili in the air around the old plant, or if the size of the new one means you can't hide the evidence. None of the articles I read about this noted how close to a residential area the old plant was. The new one is just enormous. Some people are more sensitive to smells that others, and a number of people interviewed said they were coughing and choking from the residue of the plant. If that's true, it's pretty serious. When I'm roasting 10 chiles in a pan the air in the kitchen can get pretty inflammatory. I love Sriracha, but I wouldn't want my throat to sting when I walked out of my house. Personally I know I couldn't live over a hamburger joint that spews greasy smoke all day. Yes, anything is better than a paper mill, but I would be more likely to give the residents of that neighborhood the benefit of the doubt than assume we should all have to chose between one irritating emanation and another.

Just read Andie's last post, above. Sounds like adding insult to injury: not only do some of the workers at the plant have to breath roast chilies for 8 hrs a day, but they get to take their work home with them as soon as they exit the building and live with it until they clock in for their next shift. I wouldn't want to say how bad it is before standing in their shoes.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Update from LA Times via Slate:

Production of Sriracha can continue at an Irwindale factory, at least for now, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday. Judge Robert H. O'Brien denied the city of Irwindale's request for a temporary restraining order and set a hearing for Nov. 22 to determine whether the hot-sauce factory should be shut down while it fixes alleged odor problems. ... The city sued Huy Fong Foods on Monday, claiming the spicy scent of ground peppers is a public nuisance in violation of the municipal code. The city acted after some nearby residents complained of burning eyes and throats.

The city had asked for a temporary restraining order that would have forced the factory to shut down immediately while the legal fight sorted itself out. David Tran, chief executive and founder of hot sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods, warned that doing so would have driven Sriracha prices drastically higher. As part of his defense, Tran also offered up what has to be the second-best California court-related rhyming couplet of all time: "If it doesn't smell, we can't sell."

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The plot, she thickens....just saw a headline on the Time's web site to the effect that the first complaint came from....wait for it....the son of one of the Irwindale city council members!!!! Hmmm, entitled, spoiled offspring expecting special favors? Quel surprise!

As I said earlier, *something* in Irwindale stinks for sure.

And, Katie, one doesn't move to Irwindale for a bucolic respite. The city is mostly industrial, and heavy industry at that. Always has been. It ain't a rural glade by any stretch of the imagination.

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--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Irwindale is quite unattractive as is much of the Inland Empire. Prisons are big business out there or at least in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

They should count themselves lucky to have a business as large as Huy Fong Foods move out there.

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Irwindale is not part of the "Inland Empire" and you are absolutely correct about much of the Inland Empire being unattractive.

The city is just 20 miles east of downtown L.A. in the San Gabriel Valley - I have driven through it thousands of time on my way to Orange county - the 210 freeway runs right through it.

A few years ago the "city fathers" were begging for new businesses, and they were not being picky.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Absurd!!!!

They should leave that area!

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 4 months later...

They're back in the news again:

"California City Declares Sriracha Hot Sauce Factory Public Nuisance"

A Southern California city has declared the factory that produces the popular Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance. 


The Irwindale City Council's action Wednesday night gives the factory 90 days to make changes to stop the spicy odors that prompted complaints from some residents last fall. Declaring a public nuisance will allow city officials to enter the factory and make changes if the odors persist after the deadline. 

I wonder what "...enter the factory and make changes..." means? Push the "Off" button?  :blink:  :laugh:

 

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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