311 Puyallup Ave Suite A
Tacoma, WA 98421
Mr. Randall C. Stuewe, CEO
5601 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Irving, Texas 75038
Dear Mr. Stuewe,
You don’t know me, but we’re neighbors.
No, not in Texas where you’re based. Up here in the Pacific Northwest. In Tacoma, Washington.
I know you have a lot of neighbors, and that you’re probably pretty busy, but I was hoping we could talk.
This isn’t an easy conversation to have with anybody, so I hope you’re ready. I think you are. After all, you’ve always said you’re “committed to being good neighbors.”
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just do it.
Your facility – well, it stinks. Like, really bad.
For the past three days your rendering plant has been rendering our air hard to breathe. It’s a sickly sweet smell of burning flesh and feces.
Maybe you got used to it?
A lot of your neighbors here in Tacoma don’t know it’s you. But I do. So it’s up to me to have this tough talk.
I’ve gone outside as little as possible these past three days. People three miles west of your rendering facility describe the smell as “gag inducing.”
Others in the Dome District, where my office is, south of your facility, said “my whole family has been sick with nausea and migraines from the fumes…it feels overwhelming when you don’t have the option to get fresh air to breathe in your own home.”
Sadly this isn’t the first time. Not long ago you let loose with a particularly thick fog of that funk, and I heard that Stadium High School students were retching in the hallways.
Did you know that bad odors aren’t just a nuisance, but can have negative health effects?
Since one of your core values is integrity, which includes being honest and accountable, I know you’ll own up to this. I know you’ll work to make this right.
After all, you strive at “limiting pollution at the source, managing emissions, releases, and wastes from operations.”
You are not succeeding at that here in Tacoma (not to mention Fife, directly downwind from you). And we really can’t take it anymore.
So I know you’ll be a good neighbor and fix this. Please let me know how and when you will.
Thanks. Thanks for listening. That was hard, but we’re neighbors and sometimes we have to have tough conversations.
Holding my breath,