Friday, June 8, 2018

[Santa Barbara County] Santa Maria adds odor complaints to website

On the same day that a Santa Barbara grand jury report found that there was "no clear point of contact for odor complaints on the city of Santa Maria website," the city added just such a page to its site.
The new page, available at, was added on June 1 after the grand jury report found that Santa Maria residents would approach a variety of county and city agencies about offensive odors from agricultural fields, composting facilities, and wastewater treatment plants.
According to the report, locals complained to the Air Pollution Control District, an independent agency that serves Santa Barbara County; the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department; and Santa Maria's Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located outside city limits. The city office responsible for addressing odor complaints is the Office of the City Attorney, Code Compliance, according to the report.
Santa Maria Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp notified local news media on June 1 about the point of contact addition to the city's website, saying it was added as a "resource for residents."
The city's new page also identified an odor source not found in the grand jury report, a county flood control lake at Jim May Park that is lowered before the wet season each year, van de Kamp told the Sun directly via email.
"Vegetation in the water is also discharged into a drainage ditch, and when it decomposes there is an odor," van de Kamp wrote. "But that is seasonal and short-lived."
June 6, 2018
Santa Maria Sun
By Joe Payne

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