A grease recycling and animal rendering company has been ordered to stop its operations in Vernon for ongoing air quality violations, South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said.
Baker Commodities’ facility on Bandini Boulevard in Vernon converts “animal material” collected from meat processing plants, supermarkets, and butcher shops into animal feed or other products.
SCAQMD officials say the company has been violating permit requirements by failing to keep its facility clean, and not closing up portions of its facility that include a butcher trimmings receiving area and certain wastewater operations like an open-air pit. The facility has also failed to properly seal or close other processing areas to minimize leaks and prevent odors from escaping, according to SCAQMD.
“The facility has had years to comply with our rules,” Wayne Nastri, executive officer of SCAQMD, said in a statement. “Shutting down the facility is the only acceptable step until proper controls are implemented that will protect the nearby communities that have long been impacted by rendering odors.
Baker Commodities was ordered to stop all rendering and wastewater operations, including receiving and processing raw material and removing all wastewater from the open-air pit within seven days of the order. SCAQMD says the facility must also wash all exposed surfaces of animal matter at least once a day and give regulators a timeline within seven days of the order of how they will address and fix all ongoing violations.
The facility may not resume business until all operations or equipment required by the order are within a permanent total enclosure or a closed system, SCAQMD said.
The public can file an odor complaint by calling 1-800-CUT-SMOG, or by visiting the SCAQMD website.