Some Neighbors Complain About Smell Coming from Rendering Plant in Rancho Cordova, but is it Harmful?

RANCHO CORDOVA -- As the first soccer practice of the season gets underway at Kavala Ranch Park in Rancho Cordova, something more is blowing in the wind than patriotism.

Nearby noses have been turning up at smells from the Sacramento Rendering Company  -- a century-old operation processing animal waste materials from places like supermarkets, butcher shops and dairies.

"On some days it's obvious, on other days it's not too bad," said Brian Spencer, who lives nearby.

"Smells like a burned barbecue, for lack of a better term. It just smells like a weird odor. It's not pleasant by any means," said Rusty Brown, who lives in the area.

Others in the area liken it to the smell of a neighbor's dog leaving a large present under every window.

Still, some folks FOX40 found out in their neighborhood say it's not that bad.

"This is actually the second home I've bought out here. Yeah, I bought a Lennar home. I don't remember them mentioning it to me, but it's not enough that I would not buy here," Spencer said.

Some of Brian Spencer's neighbors who are more incensed by what's being inhaled came to the second meeting with the Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District in nine months.

While no one disputes the scent of six-day-a-week processing being a nuisance, district research has determined nothing is happening at the plant that's making anyone sick.

After searching the world over for similar industry sample testing and finding very little, the district embarked on an intense sampling study with the plant running as close to capacity as possible. Amounts of any carcinogens were infinitesimal.

"One of the highest numbers is essentially a ten-thousandth of the standard. So very small for that particular contaminant," said Alberto Ayala with the Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District.