Neighbors say business makes Henderson community smell

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (FOX5) – The Clark County Air Quality Department reported 111 complaints, all related to a Henderson business. Neighbors in the Black Mountain Ranch area say nearby commercial factories often make their neighborhoods stink. Some people compare it to dryer sheets.

“Two or three times this afternoon, it came and went, and it came and went, and it came and went,” recalled Michael Vlaovich, president of Black Mountain Ranch HOA, when FOX5 visited the community.

“It’s more of a fragrance than a fact. We had an air-conditioning attendant the other day and he thought I was spraying perfume,” Frauwich revealed. Sometimes the smell is so strong that people are forced to enter.

“They got the piercing throat and everything,” Frauwich claims.

Vlaovich said it had been going on for about two years and believed the smell came from the nearby Poly-West factory.

“They make scented trash bags,” Frauwich shared. Vlaovich tried to go to companies near I-11 and Nevada State Drive to ask what chemicals might be in the air, but with no luck.

“We wanted to know what was in the steam we were breathing… A neighbor and I tried to drive over so we could see if we could talk to someone directly, but we couldn’t get past the guards at the door.. if you Try to make a call, unless you know the extension or you know who you’re calling, then you don’t have a living person to talk to,” shared Vlaovich.

Clark County Air Traffic Control has been inside telling FOX5:

Since September 1, 2020, our Air Quality Division has received and investigated 111 complaints about Poly West. One complaint turned out to be an odor nuisance and resulted in a Notice of Violation (NOV). As a result of our comprehensive compliance assessment between November 2, 2018 and November 5, 2020, we issued a second NOV. We found out that Poly West was using scented pellets in its extruders, an unlicensed activity.

The release dates for these NOVs are November 25, 2020 and December 9, 2020. The Department of Air Quality reached a settlement with Poly West, which agreed to install and operate a regenerative catalytic oxidizer to control odor-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a cost of approximately $650,000 in emissions from the facility. They also reduced the fine by $5,832.

In April of this year, our compliance officer walked through the Poly West factory and found an unpleasant odor on the roof of the factory. Poly West received a written warning for poor odor control and was asked to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issues mentioned in the warning.

Our Compliance Officer conducted a follow-up on June 1, 2022, and observed that Poly West is addressing these issues. They are required to provide the Air Quality Department with monthly progress updates on their plans, and they are obligated to do so. Poly West currently complies with all air quality regulations and operates within the parameters of the air permit.

In 2021, our compliance department conducted 776 fixed source inspections. We continue to respond to all complaints we receive – over 99% resolved within the first 24 hours. For more information on what constitutes an odor violation, see Section 43 of our Air Quality Code: odors in ambient air.

But Vlaovich said the smell still wafts into his community, and he hopes it goes away forever.

“I want my wife to be in a good mood again because she’s very sensitive to smells…she’s not going out…if it wasn’t for the smell, I don’t think we’d have a single concern,” Frauwich argues.

FOX5 also tried to contact Poly-West, but their local calls went unanswered. We then sent an email to their corporate office. As of this report, we have not heard back.

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