The communities close-by to the Oxnard Wastewater Treatment Plant (OWTP) are aware that the plant generates hydrogen sulfide which, when certain weather conditions prevail, sends an odor somewhat akin to rotten eggs. Recently, surrounding communities report a smell that is different. Long time residents are convinced the “new smell” comes from the New-Indy Containerboard Plant located across the street from OWTP.
Both facilities are governed by multiple regulatory agencies and, according to those agencies, are generally in compliance. An online site, established by Tom Dunn, records and maps some of the reports. While useful, the reports are anecdotal but the data does not have adequate scientific weight to take to the regulators.
On September 25th, representatives of the Hueneme Foundation met with representatives from the City of Port Hueneme, City of Oxnard, and the New-Indy Containerboard Plant management. The meeting was focused primarily on emissions mentioned above.
The Hueneme Foundation, whose primary mission is to facilitate the replacement of the aging OWTP, participated on the invite of the municipalities and the paper mill. It is understood that our mission is directly connected to elimination of pollutants and potentially noxious emissions.
It was agreed at the meeting that the foundation would fund and deploy a sensor system that would track, record, and make available data of all airborne pollutants and particulate matter in the Perkins Road corridor. Both the Wastewater Plant and Paper Mill front on Perkins Road. The data will be shared with both facilities and accessible via App so residents and neighbors can track the data in real time.
The Foundation has reached out to local homeowner’s associations and has tentative commitments to host the sensors. The City of Oxnard will provide space for the base station for the system as well as provide electrical power to the unit. The sensors are battery powered. The Foundation is taking donations to help with the acquisition, installation, and deployment. All donations are tax deductible. If you wish to donate please follow this PayPal link.