City health inspectors find plant is smelly nuisance; plant won't acknowledge odor

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Residents in northwest Houston say a neighboring plant is causing a nasty smell in their area, and now city officials are involved.

They knew they were moving into homes across the street from a manufacturing plant, and for years, it was no big deal.

But then about a year ago the homeowners in the Heritage Creek neighborhood in northwest Houston started noticing an awful smell.

Homeowner Heather Browne described it as "stifling."

Another neighbor, Inmaculada Calzado likened it to "burning rubber or electric."

"We were outside talking, then it got so smoky," neighbor Peter Cirrone said. "We put our shirts over our mouths and went inside our homes."

Calzado said there is sometimes a haze coming from the plant, and videos homeowners have shot back up that claim.

It's the Goodman Manufacturing plant between 11th and 12th streets in northwest Houston. Houston health inspectors confirmed city nuisance violations last week.

State records show Goodman has air emission permits and no violations in its history.

The company canceled an interview with abc13 Monday morning and in its place sent a statement that neither acknowledges an odor nor suggests when it might be fixed.

"The Goodman facility is operating within federal and state guidelines regarding emission standards," according to the statement. "As it has in the past, Goodman will continue working with the two residents to remedy their concerns."

The city's Department of Pollution Control said Monday that enforcement is pending against the plant and that a written notice of violation is being prepared. City inspectors have also noted haze coming from the building, which is not permitted. However, inspectors found no VOCs, which are typically considered dangerous pollutants.

Plant officials have been already verbally notified of the violation, according to city officials.

"To the management of Goodman, please correct what you have done," Cirrone said, hoping the message would get to the plant's brass.

Neighbors also said that at one point a former plant manager told them the smell was coming from a piece of broken equipment.

Goodman admits a former manager said it but calls that "inaccurate."
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