Irvine leaders are expected to decide Tuesday, Oct. 10, whether to approve a proposed settlement agreement with All American Asphalt that would lay out a process for the potential relocation of the company’s plant in the city, which for the past few years has drawn odor complaints from nearby residents.

The agreement, which aims to settle the city’s 2020 public nuisance lawsuit against All American Asphalt, “provides a roadmap for the eventual closure and relocation of the plant,” City Manager Oliver Chi wrote in a staff report ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Under its terms, the company would be responsible for identifying a new location for its plant within 180 days, and the city would pay for the hiring of a search consultant and for relocating and reconstructing the facility at a new, agreed-upon location that would be purchased. Those costs are estimated between $50 million to $100 million, the staff report said.

The asphalt company would also implement steps to further mitigate and monitor odors in the meantime to reduce impacts to nearby residents. Some of those measures would include making sure trucks hauling asphalt are properly covered, independently monitoring odors from the existing site and setting up an around-the-clock hotline for the public to call while “investigating and remedying confirmed complaints with regular reporting provided to the city.”

If relocation of the plant fails, the groups would also agree to settle their dispute through arbitration instead of the courts.

Councilman Larry Agran, in a post on his website Monday, said the proposed agreement raised concerns for him, calling its terms “almost intentionally open-ended and quite challenging to resolve.”

“Finding a willing and mutually satisfactory alternate location for the asphalt plant could be a nearly ‘mission-impossible’ process,” he said. “After an abundance of time, energy and money is spent, the lack of specificity within the settlement agreement could result in no near-term or eventual relocation of the plant.”

As a possible alternative to relocation through the settlement agreement, Agran had proposed the idea of condemning the asphalt plant and acquiring the site for public use through eminent domain, an option he said could lead to quicker disbandment of the plant’s operations. City officials are also expected to present that process to council members at Tuesday’s meeting.

Costs associated with condemnation are estimated to be “well in excess of $100 million,” a staff report said.

The City Council meeting starts at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and can be streamed live on Irvine’s website.

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