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Sriracha Hot Sauce Plant Ordered to Cease Spicy Odors

A California state court recently put a major manufacturing plant for the popular sriracha hot sauce on the hot seat recently, ordering it to cease emitting odors, and the potential for odors, that would violate its facility permit. City of Irwindale v. Huy Fong Foods Inc., No. BC525856, Order Re: Prelim. Inj. (Cal. Sup. Ct., L.A. Co., Nov. 26, 2013).

Although the plant has been operating in Los Angeles County since the late 1980s, news sources have reported that the company began production in a new factory in Irwindale, CA in 2012. See Frank Shyong, Sriracha Sauce Factory Odor Causing Headaches, Burning Eyes, City Says,L.A. Times Oct. 28, 2013, available at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-irwindale-sues-sriracha-20131028,0,2608897.story#axzz2j1T5nJF5. Plaintiffs, the City of Irwindale and the City Attorney, sued Respondent Huy Fong Foods Inc. due to complaints of approximately 30 residents that the spicy odors of the sauce were causing health problems, including irritating throats and eyes, and were also causing residents to avoid spending time outdoors in the area. 

Plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining Respondent from “operating or using” its sriracha plant. The court did not find sufficient evidence that Plaintiffs’ complained of health problems were tied to the plant’s emissions, but found that Plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their public nuisance claim because the odors were “extremely annoying, irritating, and offensive to the senses.” Order Re: Prelim. Inj., at 2. Accordingly, the court granted petitioners’ preliminary injunction in part and ordered Respondent to “immediately make changes in its site operations” to reduce odors and the potential for odors. Id. However, the court did not go so far as to enjoin the plant’s operations generally. 

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 48

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About this Author

Nicole B. Weinstein Insurance Recovery & Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Nicole B. Weinstein helps clients minimize and eliminate liability for contaminated sites in litigation, and to recover insurance proceeds across industries.

Nicole's practice focuses on insurance recovery and environmental litigation. She excels at identifying avenues of defense and coverage, and in distilling complicated issues into understandable terms.

Nicole has been interested in environmental matters for as long as she can remember, and has always enjoyed thinking through complex challenges. She planned to become an environmental lawyer as a student, and after...

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Daniel M. Krainin Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Dan deploys more than two decades of environmental litigation experience to resolve clients’ legal and business challenges.

Primarily focused on environmental and toxic tort litigation, Dan helps clients successfully resolve groundwater contamination, hazardous waste site remediation, natural resource damages, permit defense and product-related matters. He enjoys using his skills as a litigator to help clients solve environmental problems.

Among his many wins, Dan successfully led a team that defeated an emergency challenge to a permit that Dan’s client needed to continue its operations. The favorable result that Dan and his team achieved allowed the client to avoid losing millions of dollars’ worth of production.

In a toxic tort case involving an alleged international conspiracy, Dan led a successful briefing effort that resulted in early dismissal of all claims against his clients, saving them from protracted litigation and protecting their reputation.

While focusing his practice on litigation, Dan also provides practical and actionable advice designed to minimize environmental risk and potential liabilities. 

An active member of various bar associations, Dan is a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee, and currently co-chairs the New York State Bar Association Environment Section’s Toxic Torts Committee. Dan has also served as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Before joining Beveridge & Diamond, Dan clerked for The Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. Prior to attending law school, Dan served as editor-in-chief of the environmental news service Greenwire.

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Mackenzie S. Schoonmaker Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Mackenzie’s practice includes both litigation and regulatory matters arising under FIFRA, the Clean Water Act, and related environmental laws.

She is passionate about conserving air, water, wildlife, and land for future generations, and enjoys helping clients navigate and enforce the detailed framework of environmental law because she believes compliance is key to preventing adverse impacts to the environment.

Mackenzie is a co-chair of Beveridge & Diamond’s Industrial Hemp & Cannabis industry team. She advises clients, and regularly writes and presents, on federal...

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