The Irwindale, California, City Council has reportedly voted 4-0 to declare that Huy Fong Foods, the maker of sriracha hot sauce, is maintaining a public nuisance. If the council adopts an official resolution during its next meeting, the company will have some 90 days to mitigate the odor, blamed by local residents for their burning eyes and throats. The council’s action came despite assurances from the company’s lawyer that it planned to submit an action plan within the next two weeks and fix the odor problem by June 1. The south Coast Air Quality Management District has been conducting tests at the facility and claims that the problems could be resolved with active carbon filters.
Irwindale has sued the popular hot sauce maker in superior court, claiming that the company breached its development agreement and created a public nuisance. The court granted the city’s request for a preliminary injunction requiring Huy Fong Foods to cease emitting noxious or irritating odors and set a trial for November, but complaints about odors have persisted. During city council’s April 9, 2014, hearing, council members apparently decided to designate the facility a public nuisance as insurance in the event that Huy Fong Foods fails to install mitigation measures. The council also claimed that it has the authority to enter the factory, make the needed changes and assess costs to the owner, a news source said.
State sen. Ed Hernandez, speaking to the council through a representative, called the company one of the “shining stars” in the local business community and offered to help it find a new base of operations in another city. See Irwindale, California, Notice and Call of Special Meeting Agenda, April 3, 2014; Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2014.