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Something Stinks In Boyle Heights - And Councilman Says Rendering Plants To Blame

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Community leaders are set to gather Monday night in an effort to figure out how to reduce smell pollution from Vernon animal rendering plants that have long plagued Boyle Heights and other areas just outside of downtown Los Angeles.

City Councilman Jose Huizar invited the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to hold a meeting in Boyle Heights to address an AQMD proposal that would combat slaughterhouse and animal rendering plant odors coming from Vernon - which activists say have long been part of living in the area.

Monday's meeting will include a Q&A session for residents to share their thoughts on Rule Proposal 415 (RP415), which among other things would require all facilities to be enclosed over the next four years as a permanent solution to the odor stemming from processing animal renderings outdoors.

Activists say the odor can be sourced to five rendering plants in the Vernon area that take animal byproducts from slaughterhouses and road-kill and cook them down for disposal.

Those byproducts are then used in pet food, cosmetics, fertilizer and other products.

Huizar, who lives in Boyle Heights, says the smells are strongest when these operations are not fully enclosed.

"Boyle Heights has unfairly endured more environmental pollution than most neighborhoods in the City and County," said Huizar. "And for decades, the smell pollution from nearby rendering plants has been part of our reality as Boyle Heights' residents. That needs to change."

The odor hasn't gone unnoticed on social media either.

The proposed rule change is up for a vote by the AQMD Governing Board at their Nov. 3 meeting in Diamond Bar.

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