The City Council
Public Works Committee on Tuesday afternoon
officially began discussions of controlling
industrial odor emissions locally, instead of
relying on the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources. During a recent bout of excessive odor
emissions, the City began receiving calls from
citizens. Calls are usually directed to DNR, but
a number of the citizens told Mayor Jim Woestman
that DNR had told them to call the City instead.
Following this instance, discussions between City
staff and DNR have resulted in the move towards
municipal regulations of industrial odors, DNR
claiming that the City has the capability to
detect, identify and enforce excessive odor
weve reached an end with calling DNR,"
said City Attorney Nate Dally during
cant control the odors here."
The company most
frequently mentioned regarding the emissions was
Renewable Environmental Solutions, which has
received a number of citations from DNR over the
past several years.
Tom Short gave the committee an outline of the
nuisance abatement provisions in the current
ordinance, and highlighted some of the changes
that would be required to adapt the ordinance for
"We have the
ability to do it," said Short, "but the
ordinance will need to be dramatically
were wanting to get some direction from the
committee for things to include in the
for inclusion in the ordinance consisted of odor
detection and identification, abatement,
enforcement, and right of entry to the
offenders property. Under the current code,
and proposed changes, the Public Works Department
would be responsible for all of these steps.
The odors would
have to be detected by a scentometer, which is
the same technology used by DNR. The City has an
older scentometer on loan from the local DNR
agents. The scentometer is a box with a variable
dilution rate, through which an officer would
smell the air. The dilution rate currently used
by DNR is 7 to 1, being 1 part unmodified air and
7 parts filtered air.
Mayor Woestman and
other members of City staff have attended several
meetings of DNRs "odor workgroup"
over the past year, vying for a change in the
dilution ratio, but have had little success. By
moving the enforcement in-house, the City would
have the ability to establish its own ratio. The
committee discussed a 4 to 1, or 5 to 1 ratio
during Tuesdays meeting.
Director Chad Wampler told the committee that
during the most recent odor emissions the
scentometer was tested by his department, and
there was no odor detected using the 7 to 1
"7 to 1 is a
tough ratio to pass," said Wampler.
He added that the
odor was detected using the 4 to 1 ratio.
also exists, according to Wampler. DNR now uses a
device called the "nasal ranger," which
is similar to the scentometer, but easier to use.
The nasal ranger includes a sensor that can tell
if officer is drawing air correctly.
Short told the
committee that a nasal ranger would cost
somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500.
Wampler added that
the local DNR officers appear willing to help
with training of the Public Works abatement
officers, regarding use of the equipment.
concerns about the enforcement, saying that he
wanted clarity in the ordinance for prosecution
"I would like
to see more definition on what is a disagreeable
odor," said Dally.
Dally added that
he wanted the ordinance to include provisions for
a set percentage of complaints in any area of the
"We need to
set standards, like, X number of
people in the area complained, have a set
ratio... those are attainable," said Dally.
only thing is the enforcement issue, entering
property and finding the source."
Short added that clarity in the standards of the
ordinance would also allow the industries to know
what would be expected of them.
knows going into it what the rules are,"
discussed many other options for the ordinance,
and requested that Dally begin drafting the
amendments so that they could be reviewed at the
next meeting. The committee also requested a
projected cost for implementation of the
ordinance, to be discussed at the next meeting.
Larry Ross recommended that the draft ordinance
contain as many enforcement features as possible,
which could be removed as needed.
something as strong as you can get it," said
The committee also
agreed that the intention of the ordinance should
be to encourage compliance from the industries,
and not to submerge the businesses.
like to see those 40 people working down there to
continue to have a job," said Ross.
agreed to continue discussions at the next
regular meeting, scheduled for January 6, 2009.