Community Alert – Darling Ingredients Update

June 26, 2024

On June 6, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) posted their Final Order of Approval and responses to public comments on the reconstruction of the Darling rendering facility in the Tacoma Tideflats. Comments submitted by CHB and others led to several clarifications within the permit and also clarified the limitations of PSCAA’s regulatory authority on several aspects of the project. Ultimately, the final permit was approved.

Now, we are waiting to see when Darling’s lease will appear on a Port Commission agenda. These agendas are typically released only a few days beforehand, so we will have a quick turnaround in notifying the public. The last meeting on June 25 did not appear to mention Darling.

A bit of history about our work on Darling:

  • When CHB first heard about Darling looking to reopen, we began a community letter writing campaign to Port of Tacoma Commissioners. With Darling’s lease set to expire in 2028, they were seeking an early lease extension that would provide security for their reconstruction project. Their proposal would repair fire damage and introduce new operating processes for the plant. Prior to the fire, Darling explained that their lease and permit conditions were “very permissive” and did not restrict their operations much at all on the site.
  • CHB’s letter campaign to Port Commissioners urged them to reconsider extending Darling’s lease, especially without confirming that the facility could operate regularly in accordance with any new permit conditions. The campaign generated over 300 letters to each Port Commissioner, largely echoing CHB’s letter template while adding personal anecdotes about how much better their lives have been since Darling closed.
  • The Port of Tacoma then published a webpage on Darling’s lease extension in Jan 2024, emphasizing that lease negotiations are private and would eventually make their way to a Commission meeting after any regulatory/permitting changes have been made.
  • We then learned that the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) was reviewing updated permit conditions that significantly improved how the facility would need to operate once reconstructed. CHB submitted comments on these updated conditions.

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