Editorial: Now is the winter of our discon-scent

A MorinvilleNews.com editorial

Those of you who follow what’s going on in Morinville know that at the first council meeting after the election Deputy Mayor Paul Krauskopf directed Champion Petfoods President Frank Burdzy to come back to council in January with something concrete on what the company was going to do about a certain olfactory by-product of its cooking process. Those of you who do not follow the goings on of council are still certainly aware of the problem coming out of Champion’s stacks. That is unless your nasal passages are perpetually blocked.

At the time of Krauskopf’s energetic and forceful directive to the Champion president last October, we developed a great admiration for the veteran councillor’s chutzpah for being so blunt with the head of Morinville’s largest employer. But Krauskopf, like his fellow councillors, were walking the walk and addressing concerns raised by the voters during the election campaign.

Of course that was just more than a week after they’d all been elected, and when Champion was not in attendance at the first council meeting in January, we (like many people in the community that follow and discuss municipal politics) let skepticism and cynicism take root, thinking council might not keep the company’s feet to the fire.

But Champion was back in council chambers last Tuesday night with a plan in hand on how it is going to mitigate the odour its $500,000 plasma injector system was supposed to take care of.

It seems the fresh ingredients that are responsible for the odour everyone in the community save dogs and cats find offensive is also the reason the expensive high-tech equipment isn’t doing what everyone hoped it would. It seems fat molecules from the company’s fresh ingredients are impervious to the plasma injector technology and an equally expensive scrubber system will need to be installed to trim the fat – so to speak – before the plasma injectors can do the work.

That system will be designed over the winter, tested through the spring and installed in the summer. Although the company is taking measures to reduce the odours as best they can ahead of the new technology being installed, Morinvillians and visitors to the community can expect an odiferous centennial year.

With eight or nine months still to go before the problem is eliminated it is our sincere hope Champion’s current theory is a correct one. Should the solution not solve the problem the fat may hit the fire with respect to the community’s patience with both Champion and Morinville Town Council.

DC

-SD

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5 Comments

  1. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am pro business.

    Not pro business at any cost though.

    I agree our patience is growing very thin.

    The cost to the average rate payer in additional taxes, should Champion be forced to shut down, would be less that twenty dollars a year. This is a sum I would gladly pay to breathe clean air.

    I think that many Morinvillians would agree.

    Champion NEEDS to get this right.

    The job losses would be terrible but it would be the employers of those people that would be to blame for all of those losses and not the people of Morinville that want clean air.

  2. Good point Joe all the way around, and if the cost of doing business means a smaller profit for the company so be it.

    Other than paying the employees wages and taxes I have not seen much else in the way of community particpance in any other events that would leave a social or cultural impression. The world being impressed with Champion Pet Foods, can not be as satisfying as the home you come from prasing you. That would certainly be true if you were leaving behind something that would be considered desirable by the town folk or visitors (other than the smell indicating you have been here).

  3. I think we need to afford Champion the opportunity to get things done. Anybody who has worked for a company of that size will know that it takes some time to research solutions and come up with alternatives. From my readings about Champion, it seems they did install some sort of emission reducing and odor reducing equipment last year. Maybe they were naively hopeful, maybe they were generally dissappointed that it’s not working to it’s full potential. Yes, the smell is bad, but I have noticed a reduction in the frequency of the odor. Either way, solutions don’t come fast and easy. Our vehicles have been polluting our air on a massive scale for decades and now with global warming threatening our very existance we still can’t seem to put an emissions free vehicle on the road. And think about how much R&D money goes into that! As a resident of Morinville, I think we need to allow all businesses in the town to florish, including those that are less than appealing to any of our 5 senses. One other thing, while researching Champion and their product line, I noticed how many pet food owners across the world would easily say that ORIJEN is the best pet food in the world. Of this I had no idea, but it may be something we should be proud of.

  4. Over the past few months I have had many conversations with friends and neighbors, as well as elected officials regarding the stench coming from Champion. It seems Champion has bought themselves some time; however I do not think the citizens that reside around Champion should take a wait and see approach and assume that they will comply. All they have agreed to is to run a pilot program to study the effectiveness of a few scrubbing processes; not achieve 80% effectiveness. I feel that we will be disappointed when August roils around. I have proposed to the people I spoke with that we form an Association dedicated to this issue. It seems to me that virtually everyone I speak to that is subjected to the stench regularly would at the very least join an association to get the membership high enough to make it a relevant stakeholder throughout the process of making Champion achieve a minimum 80% reduction in a Timely fashion. I am sure that there are several people on this board, and who have gone to council that would be interested in assisting me in forming the association? Send me an email to scojoc@yahoo.com and let’s take this to the next level.

  5. We wer just going to spend a few hundred Dollars at No Frills in Town, but Champion Stunk so bad today… We chose to shop in St Albert instead. We are now speaking with our wallets, is anyone listening?

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