West Fresno residents to finally be rid of smelly meat processing plant

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- West Fresno residents have had to deal with a foul smell coming from a meat processing plant for many years.

But on Thursday they learned relief is in sight as the Darling rendering plant will be relocating its facility.

The stench coming from the plant has drawn complaints for decades.

Here cows are slaughtered, processed and turned into various by-products.

But now the plant will move to a new location.

"Historically, these plants are located in communities of color and low income so most of the time people in those situations don't have time nor the commitment and sometimes the know-how and staying ability to get involved in trying to change things," said Fresno resident Mary Curry.

West Fresno residents have been waiting a long time for change in the air. Councilmembers have visited the neighborhood.

"We rolled down the window and that was an interesting experience but I can't imagine for folks that live across the street from that to have to endure that for such a long time," said councilmember Luis Chavez.

The Fresno City Council voted unanimously to allow Darling to relocate and build a new plant near Jensen and Cornelia.

A lawsuit forced the city to slightly alter the site.

Escrow is expected to close this year and it will take 2 1/2 years for Darling to complete construction on a new rendering plant.

"It's very true this community has been unfairly treated and unfairly burdened for a long time with the Darling plant," said councilmember Gary Bredefeld.

The old plant will remain in operation until the new facility is built so area residents will have to deal with the smell a while longer.
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