Opinion

Southeast L.A. has smelled terrible for decades. What took so long for air regulators to act?

To the editor: In 1988, I complained to the Los Angeles County Health Department about the awful odors emanating from the rendering plants in Vernon, a tiny industrial city southeast of downtown Los Angeles. (“Stench of carcasses and spoiled meat has long plagued Southeast L.A. Here’s how that’ll change,” Nov. 3)

I was told that, because the odors were not a known pathogen, there was nothing they could do. I mockingly responded that apparently nausea is not a disease.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issues rules to limit the awful odors from rendering operations. This from the same people who were in denial for decades about just how harmful to people emissions from diesel engines are.

For an agency that is supposed to be the protector of local air quality, the SCAQMD seems to have a lot of challenges performing its intended function.

Jim Rueff, Fountain Valley

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To the editor: It is encouraging that the putrid smells from the meat rendering plants are finally being addressed and regulated.

What’s also very stinky is Los Angeles City Couniclman Jose Huizar’s staff member expressing shock, shock I tell you, that this problem has plagued these abused communities for so long with no one doing anything about it.

Huizar has been a member of the City Council since 2005. Apparently, he himself has been, like so many City Council members, just too busy to do anything until now.

Ambrose Bruce Terrence, Marina del Rey

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