Raising a stink in Southwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

For 58 years Darling International has run a meat rendering plant in Southwest Fresno. Carcasses are constantly trucked in to be processed for products such as paint and tupperware. But for years neighbors have raised a stink about the smells coming from the plant.

Bob Mitchell said, "Our community has suffered the horrific malodorous smell which emanates from this business for decade upon decade upon decade."

On Thursday residents packed city hall to demand Darling International, be required to get a C.U.P. - a conditional use permit.

Rev. Paul Binion said, "That you would again exercise equity and justice and do not exempt the fine folks from Darling International from the very same standards that you would have a church go through."

But the company maintains the city did not forget to issue a permit. It actually built an industrial park around the facility.

Darling International CEO Randall Stuewe said, "We have been cooperative and open throughout the process in an attempt to collaborate with the city and protect the jobs at stake."

The company adds by calling for Thursday's public hearing, Council Member Oliver Baines has potentially put 4,000 jobs at risk because the facility deals with several large companies.

The Fresno City Council went into closed session to discuss the issue but did not decide whether the company needs a conditional use permit.

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