Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe said Thursday that the state is suing a company in over noxious smells allegedly emanating from a production facility the company owns in Newark's East Ward/
Darling Ingredients, a multinational corporation which recycles inedible animal products for use in the manufacture of items like gelatin and animal feed, owns the plant on Wilson Avenue, where inspectors found 320 permit violations between September 2018 and June, according to the suit, which was filed in Superior Court in Essex County.
A spokesperson for the company was not immediately available Thursday afternoon.
The DEP and Essex County Health Department have verified five instances of odor complaints, authorities said. Residents say the East Ward has been exposed to powerful animal carcass smells from the plant, which has lead to penalties. The facility has continued to emit the pollution regardless, according to the suit.
The suit also alleges there has been no emission-control equipment at the plant since 2017, which is required.
“Environmental justice means addressing quality of life concerns for all of our communities, no matter their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, or income,” said Grewal.
“Far too often, companies think they can pollute the air we breathe and get away with it. But my office’s ongoing work to promote environmental justice means hearing local community concerns and taking action – whether we’re going after illegal dumping, soil contamination, or odors and air pollution. Our message to our residents is clear: speak up about environmental harms, and we’ll keep fighting for you.”
The suit seeks an immediate halt to the emissions and would require the company to hire an environmental consultant who would send regular updates to the DEP.
The suit also seeks civil penalties for violations. Officials said in a statement that the DEP could ask for $10,000 and $25,000 for the first and second violations, and $50,000 for each additional violation under the Air Pollution Control Act.
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