EPA Orders Western Environmental to Stop Noxious Odors Coming From Calif. Facility

EPA has ordered Western Environmental Inc. to take immediate steps to address potentially harmful emissions coming from its Mecca, Calif., waste handling facility. The facility is located on the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians Reservation.

Western Environmental’s facility handles solid, semi-solid and liquid waste, including petroleum contaminated soil and biosolids from sewage treatment plants. Mounds of untreated contaminated soil have accumulated at the site and now stand more than 40-feet high.

“To protect the local community including nearby schools, EPA has ordered Western Environmental to take immediate action to eliminate this potential health threat,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "The order requires the facility to stop accepting any additional contaminated soils or biosolids without prior EPA approval."

In December 2010, after receiving complaints of odors that sent people to the hospital, the Air District and the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health dispatched staff to perform air sampling in the community and at the facility. EPA is working closely with the Cabazon Tribe, the State of California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to coordinate response actions.

Today’s order, issued under the authority of the federal Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, follows a more recent spate of odor complaints and a public meeting in Mecca on April 28, 2011 where EPA officials heard directly from community members about the odors’ impacts on their health.

The EPA Administrative Order against Western Environmental and a related company, Waste Reduction Technologies, sets forth immediate measures and a schedule to control the source of odors from the Western Environmental facility. The order requires the facility to use stabilizing agents or cover sheeting on the stockpiled material to prevent the release of noxious air emissions.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar