California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) Odor Management Workshops

Recommendations Implementation Workshops

Workshop Objectives

Each workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to review, discuss, and make comments on the current recommendations for odor monitoring and enforcement at compostable organic materials handling sites in California.

Introduction

In March 1998, the CalRecycle convened the Compostable Organics Facilities Odor Workgroup consisting of enforcement agencies, air pollution control districts, and air quality control districts, as required by Public Resources Code Section 43209.1 (from Senate Bill 675 by Senator Costa and then Chapter 788, October 8, 1997). The Workgroup was also tasked with making "recommendations on odor measurement and thresholds, complaint response procedures, and enforcement tools and take any other action necessary to ensure that enforcement agencies respond in a timely and effective manner to complaints of odors emanating from composting facilities" by April 1, 1999. Additionally, the CalRecycle must implement the recommendations of the Workgroup "that the board determines to be appropriate" by January 1, 2000.

Senate Bill Number 675 Text (Chaptered 10/08/97, Chapter 788, filed with Secretary of State, October 8, 1997)

SECTION 1. Section 41705 of the Health and Safety Code, as amended by Section 2.1 of Chapter 952 of the Statutes of 1995, is amended to read:

41705. (a) Section 41700 shall not apply to odors emanating from any of the following:

(1) Agricultural operations necessary for the growing of crops or the raising of fowl or animals.

(2) Operations that produce, manufacture, or handle compost, as defined in Section 40116 of the Public Resources Code, provided that the odors emanate directly from the compost facility or operations.

(3) Operations that compost green material or animal waste products derived from agricultural operations, and that return similar amounts of the compost produced to that same agricultural operations source, or to an agricultural operations source owned or leased by the owner, parent company, or subsidiary conducting the composting operation. The composting operation may produce an incidental amount of compost not exceeding 2,500 cubic yards of compost, which may be given away or sold annually.

(b) If a district receives a complaint pertaining to an odor emanating from a compost operation exempt from Section 41700 pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a), that is subject to the jurisdiction of an enforcement agency under Division 30 (commencing with Section 40000) of the Public Resources Code, the district shall, within 24 hours or by the next working day, refer the complaint to the enforcement agency.

(c) This section shall become inoperative on the date that is four years from the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in 1997, and, as of January 1, 2002, is repealed, unless

a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before that date, deletes or extends the dates on which it is inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 2. Section 41705 of the Health and Safety Code, as amended by Section 2.2 of Chapter 952 of the Statutes of 1995, is amended to read:

41705. (a) Section 41700 shall not apply to odors emanating from agricultural operations necessary for the growing of crops or the raising of fowl or animals.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date that is four years from the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in 1997.

SEC. 3. Section 43209.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

43209.1. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if an enforcement agency receives a complaint, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 41705 of the Health and Safety Code, from an air pollution control district or an air quality management district pertaining to an odor emanating from a compost facility under its jurisdiction, the enforcement agency shall, in consultation with the district, take appropriate enforcement actions pursuant to this part.

(b) On or before April 1, 1998, the board shall convene a working group consisting of enforcement agencies and air pollution control districts and air quality management districts to assist in the implementation of this section and Section 41705 of the Health and Safety Code. On or before April 1, 1999, the board and the working group shall develop recommendations on odor measurement and thresholds, complaint response procedures, and enforcement tools and take any other action necessary to ensure that enforcement agencies respond in a timely and effective manner to complaints of odors emanating from composting facilities. On or before January 1, 2000, the board shall implement the recommendations of the working group that the board determines to be appropriate.

(c) This section shall become inoperative on the date that is four years from the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in 1997, and, as of January 1, 2002, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before that date, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 4. This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:

Background to Recommendations

Increased public concerns about odors, other nuisance factors, and health risks continue to effect siting of compostable organic materials processing facilities near or close to residential areas. Odor complaints interfere with operation of existing facilities and siting and permitting of new facilities. Some jurisdictions have even been forced to close compostable organic material processing operations. Because of these concerns and complaints, jurisdictions have found it difficult, if not impossible, to build the necessary processing capacity. Without properly situated processing capacity, jurisdictions will remain limited in the amount of compostable organic materials which may efficiently be diverted from disposal, and ultimately prevented from meeting their diversion goals.

Some aspects of these challenges have been addressed by recent legislation. With passage of SB 675 in October 1997, CalRecycle was mandated to convene a workgroup and make recommendations on odor measurement and thresholds, complaint response procedures, and enforcement tools by April 1, 1999, and adopt and implement appropriate recommendations by January 1, 2000. Additionally, SB 675 provides that local enforcement agencies and CalRecycle are responsible for conducting investigations of odor complaints involving composting. APCDs and AQMDs are to refer such complaints to the EAs.

The language of SB 675 did not detail the issues of concern nor the process that the CalRecycle must use to "implement recommendations" of the workgroup that CalRecycle "determines to be appropriate." CalRecycle has used workshops and small group discussions with special interest groups to assess and prioritize in similar efforts. Some members of the existing workgroup have offered to participate in the assessment and implementation processes.

Workgroup Recommendations

I. Odor Measurement and Thresholds Recommendations

A. Establish technological expertise in odor measurement and thresholds by researching the availability and efficacy of current odor detection and monitoring equipment and increase the current knowledge of odor characterization, behavior, and mitigation measures. It is recommended that a funding program be established for research, including field testing of odor detection and monitoring equipment for conditions specific to California.

B. Identify and empower an agency at the State-level to provide ongoing technical assistance for standardized quantification and qualification of odors as part of an odor investigation and detection training program accessible both to enforcement agencies (EAs) and facility operators. Promote the use of the developed standardized odor complaint protocol by all field staff responding to odor events at compostable organic material sites (see II. B.).

C. Develop and distribute guidelines for creating and using odor panels to assist with odor verification in investigations. Include these odor panel procedures in a complaint response and investigation guidance document (see II. B.).

II. Complaint Investigation and Response Procedures Recommendations

A. Update LEA Advisories related to odor complaint response and investigation (at a minimum Advisories 32, 33, and 49) and provide training to enforcement field staff statewide.

B. Develop statewide complaint response and investigation protocol and include the protocol in a guidance document. Provide statewide training on the complaint response and investigation procedures guidance document. The guidance protocol should be comprehensive and include specifics such as:

1. Minimum response times;

2. Information collection checklists;

3. Discussions about jurisdiction at different sites with various concerns;

4. Inter-agency coordination and referral of investigations and reporting.

C. Conduct a statewide review and compilation of odor complaints.

D. Study the feasibility of a statewide database that will continue to collect information pertaining to odor complaints.

E. Develop and provide information on odor characteristics and related effects to the public through a community outreach program.

III. Enforcement Tools Recommendations

A. Perform an analysis of "traditional enforcement measures" and implement measures that will achieve and maintain compliance, such as:

1. Revision of current regulatory standards, ie. "minimize" where enforcement is required;

2. Development of templates for contractual agreements-to-operate (ATO) for sites;

3. Methods that define AB 939 recycling credits for "real diversion";

4. Certain and timely enforcement actions for violations of minimum standards, such as "no additional materials accepted on site" until the facility is in compliance.

B. Research the best management practices for prevention and control of odor events at compostable organic materials handling and composting operations/facilities for California.

C. Develop and distribute a guidance document for EAs and operators that includes best management practices for odor management in California, including common technologies for detecting and monitoring odors and updated information siting of operations, site design, meteorology, topography and other specifics of integrated operations.

D. Assess the feasibility of implementing "non-traditional," enforcement measures for preventative, compliance maintenance, such as:

1. A voluntary certification program, including ongoing training of site operators with EAs;

2. Incentives for compliance, possibly reduced costs for inspection;

3. Variable diversion credits through "cradle-to-recycling" tracking;

4. Bonding and/or insurance requirements for sites to operate;

5. An agreement-to-operate (ATO) versus facility permit, with ATOs detailing payment for re-inspections and NOV preparation and performance-based capacity limitations;

6. Local use permit enforcement options for EAs, including use of odor zones, seasonal volume limitations, and meteorologically-adjusted operations;

7. Specific, certain, and timely consequences for violations;

8. "Tier structure" review, and consider elimination/modification of the notification tier.

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Last updated: April 15, 2005
Compostable Materials, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Compostables/
Martin Perez: Martin.Perez@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 323-0834