MALTBY — StockPot Inc. announced Friday it has reached agreement with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to install new odor-control equipment at its soup manufacturing plant on Highway 9.
The proposed $1.5 million project, which has been reviewed and approved by the clean air agency, was developed in response to complaints about cooking odors from nearby residents.
"We’re confident that the state-of-the-art equipment and project design will address the concerns of our Woodinville neighbors," said Kathleen Horner, StockPot’s president, in a written statement about the agreement.
StockPot, a subsidiary of Campbell Soup Co., began working in late 2000 with air-quality officials to reduce smells from the company, which residents south of Maltby often described as an onion-soup odor.
Several voluntary measures, including changes in ingredients and cooking schedules and the installation of odor-control equipment, complaints went down by 60 percent. But the odors persisted enough that the agency fined StockPot $18,000 in November 2002.
StockPot requested a suspension of that fine if it continued to work on odor control. Under this week’s agreement, StockPot will order additional odor-control equipment within a month of having its order reviewed and approved by the agency. If the new equipment is installed and working within about six months, the 2002 fine will be suspended.
Jim Nolan, director of compliance for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, said the agreement is an "important development for the community."
StockPot, which moved to Snohomish County in 1999, produces more than 100 kinds of soups gravies and sauces for restaurants, cruise ships and other eateries. Its products also are sold at self-serve kiosks and in some supermarkets. Since 2002, the company has doubled its workforce, and now employs about 370 people.