November 25, 2002
Onion-soup odor draws 18 foul-air complaints from community
by Jeanette Knutson
Community members registered 18 odor complaints with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency last Wednesday, Nov. 20, said Alice Collingwood, communications manager for the agency.
The smell of StockPot soup company's onion soup hung in the air from 75th Avenue Southeast in Woodinville, to Woodinville city center, to as far east and south as Willows Run Golf Course in Redmond.
Some likened the smell to body odor, finding it extremely offensive.
According to Collingwood, inspectors were dispatched to the Campbell Soup Company subsidiary, located at 22505 State Route 9, Woodinville, and arrived in time to actually smell the odor themselves.
Inspectors issued a notice of violation to StockPot.
Collingwood said inspectors will be returning calls to those who complained, informing them of the status Clean Air's investigation.
She said the agency has received the occasional odor complaint about the company since 1999.
Last spring, StockPot installed new state-of-the-art odor control equipment, said Collingwood, but the equipment hasn't done the job.
She said the weather greatly affects when and how odors are dispersed.
"It depends on the weather," said Collingwood. "When fog clamps down and we get these inversions and the wind direction changes, the (fugitive odors are at their worst)."
Stockpot has made operating procedure changes in order to remedy the odor problem. It used to make big batches of onion soup on Monday and Tuesday nights. Now it makes smaller batches throughout the week.
"They really have been trying to work on this," said Collingwood.
StockPot has promised to deliver an action plan to Puget Sound Clean Air Agency by the end of December.
Even though a citation has been written against StockPot, Clean Air wants to hear from people if they continue to have odor complaints.
The number to call if you have a complaint is (206) 343-8800.