The 3D Idapro dehydration plant in Stanfield will briefly halt operations Monday to make minor repairs to the facility. They expect to resume working late Monday or Tuesday, but will stop work again on Tuesday afternoon and evening to accommodate the nearby National Night Out picnic.
The temporary pause on factory activities is a result of weeks’ worth of complaints from residents about odors from the factory and, most recently, a fire at the plant on Wednesday.
Kevin Andreson, Idapro’s platform leader for non-grains, said in a press release the company is also taking some steps to mitigate the odors.
“On Monday, we are installing a mobile odor control system that is designed to neutralize smells from the plant,” he said. “While not perfect, we are hopeful that this temporary measure will help to reduce ongoing odors.”
Andreson said the company is in the process of building a new filtration system that will be installed in November.
He also said the company has changed the way they purchase and handle raw potato products to reduce the smell coming from those materials.
“We want to be a good neighbor for this community,” he said. “This situation is clearly frustrating to everyone, and we are doing everything we can to resolve it so that Stanfield can continue to be a great place to live.”
Stanfield residents have been complaining about the smell for weeks to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality and, most recently, are concerned about an explosion that caused the factory’s bag house to catch fire. The fire injured one employee.
Andreson said the employee needed a short hospital visit for his minor burns but is now doing fine.
A spokesman for Idapro said the initial smell was caused when the plant had a fire in January, which burned some of the factory’s air purification equipment.
Several weeks ago, representatives from Oregon’s DEQ said the company had responded quickly to their requests for answers about the plant and that they were working on a solution.
At a Stanfield city council meeting two weeks ago, citizens showed up in droves to protest the factory’s continued operations. Council members directed Stanfield City Manager Blair Larsen to begin fining the factory and seek a court order to shut the factory down.
There is another city council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8 at Stanfield City Hall, 160 S. Main Street, Stanfield. The dehydration facility is expected to be discussed again.
Contact Jayati Ramakrishnan at email@example.com or 541-564-4534.
An earlier version of this story had an incorrect date listed for the Stanfield City Council meeting.