California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Enforcement Advisory Council Meeting

CIWMB Response to Resolution of Enforcement Advisory Council

September 5, 2003

Mr. Greg Pirie, Chair, EAC
Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency
Office of County Administrator
1195 3rd St. Room 310
Napa, California 94559

Subject: EAC Resolution 2003-05, Odors and Possible Health Effects from Compostable Materials

Dear Mr. Pirie:

Thank you for sending Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC) Resolution 2003-05, dated August 19, 2003, which was passed at the June 19, 2003 EAC meeting.

The resolution requests that CIWMB review available research and other information on whether odors from compostable materials adversely affect health. The resolution also requests that CIWMB provide a guidance document to LEAs, such as an Advisory, which includes the scope of the research, background and conclusions of the review, and which offers direction as appropriate.

CIWMB is committed to working with LEAs to address public concerns in relation to odors and to facilitate enforcement efforts for greater protection of the public health and safety and environment.

While the CIWMB's success in diverting more waste than ever from landfills is largely attributed to the rise in the number of organic materials handling operations and facilities, we are also aware of the mounting challenge that odor complaints present to LEAs.

Because this is a time of fiscal challenges due to budget and potential additional staffing reductions, we will be using a stepped approach to conduct the requested research on odor and possible health effects. First, we have requested that LEAs submit any published information on odors and health effects that they are aware of to us. To date, we have received one article from an LEA, titled "Potential Health Effects of Odor from Animal Operations, Wastewater Treatment, and Recycling of Byproducts" from the Journal of Agromedicine. We appreciate EAC's help in working with the LEAs in their Round Table venues to obtain other published articles.

Additionally, we are working with Eliot Epstein, Ph.D., Chief Environmental Scientist, Tetra Tech, Inc. and Adjunct Professor of Public Health Boston University School of Public Health and world-renowned compost expert, to gather his research on odors and possible health effects. A list of the articles submitted and the information from Elliot Epstein will be posted on the CIWMB website for availability statewide. The third effort would be to conduct our own review of research and literature if and when we have staff available. Once this is done, we will provide the results to LEAs as requested by Resolution 2003-05.

CIWMB looks forward to working with EAC and other LEAs in this review of scientific studies and information on odors and possible health effects.

Thank you for the opportunity to address the issues outlined in EAC Resolution 2003-05. Should you have any questions, please contact me at (916) 341-6311.


original signed by

Howard Levenson, PhD,
Deputy Director
Permitting and Enforcement Division

Attachments: EAC Resolution 2003-05

cc: EAC Members
      Mr. Dan Avera, Chair, CCDEH Solid Waste Policy Committee
      Linda Moulton Patterson, Board Chair, CIWMB
      Jose Medina, Board Member, CIWMB
      Steve Jones, Board Member, CIWMB
      Michael Paparian, Board Member, CIWMB
      Cheryl Peace, Board Member, CIWMB
      Carl Washington, Board Member, CIWMB
      Julie Nauman, Chief Deputy Director, CIWMB

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Last updated: February 09, 2005
Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC)
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