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Odor ordinance in place for partnering cities Newport, South St. Paul

The Washington/ Ramsey Recycling and Energy Center lies in Newport, just off Interstate 494. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia

NEWPORT — After several months in the making, Newport has finally passed an odor ordinance mirroring South St. Paul's that will allow the two cities to work together to fight problem odor emitters.

Newport's ordinance is more or less a direct copy of South St. Paul's. City Planner Sherri Buss said there will be "common implementation and enforcement of the ordinance between the two cities."

The ordinance defines a significant odor generator based on the number of complaints — seven complaints within a six-month period labels a company a significant odor generator. It also requires someone from the city to go out when there is a complaint to ensure there really is an odor that crosses the threshold.

The company is required to come up with a mitigation plan to solve the problem once they have been identified as an odor emitter.

If the problem persists after coming up with the plan, the company must have quarterly meetings and may lead to fines and other penalties if it still continues after a year.

After a year of no odor complaints, the company can lose its classification as a significant odor generator.

The cities can conduct testing when complaints come in or on a planned odor study they have set up.

Newport currently has a reporting system in place for residents to report an odor each time they smell a nuisance.

They will use the Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer made by St. Croix Sensory to measure nuisance odors. The Nasal Ranger measures odors by the user sniffing it through filters on the mechanism. Turning a dial allows the user to either let more or less unfiltered — and therefore smellable — air to their noses. If the scent can still be detected at a higher number — or higher parts filtered air to unfiltered air — it is considered a nuisance odor.

South St. Paul and Newport have specifically identified Sanimax and the Washington/Ramsey Recycling and Energy Center as the businesses they hope to mitigate odors from.

Buss said Newport and South St. Paul staff decided not to fold in changes suggested by the two counties, as they would be an advantage to the business and not the cities.