BRAWLEY – One World Beef (OWB) addressed the Brawley city council Wednesday during public comments at their meeting on Wednesday.
One World Beef attorney John Lormon explained their requests.
“One World Beef is in escrow with National Beef for the purchase of the beef plant located on Shank Road,” said Lormon. “Escrow is set to close in March, with operations beginning approximately two or three months after that. OWB will have one-fifth the production of National Beef and bring 600 paying jobs and tax revenue to the city of Brawley.”
Lormon wanted OWB put on the agenda for the next city council meeting.
“At the next meeting we would like to give our requests to the city,” said Lormon. “Our first question to the city is, ‘Are you interested in having the plant open or let this deal pass?’ If you want it, then direct staff to continue to work with OWB and, in particular, re-instate the rescinded National Beef wastewater discharge permit and transfer that permit to OWB.”
Lormon contended that the lender for the project has requested that OWB acquire all environmental permits to complete the lending process and that all permits have been secured, including the permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The wastewater discharge permit from Brawley is the only one they are lacking.
“Our lenders are saying if we don’t have all of our permits in place, they cannot go forward with the deal,” said Lormon. “It’s the city’s call if they want this or not.”
Another attorney for OWB commented on the permit to The Desert Review.
“The transfer of the permit is not going to cause any risk to the city,” said attorney Hazel Ocampo. “The permit will be suspended until after OWB provides the technical information that the city needs to reassure itself that the pretreatment limits will be met. There will be no discharge until the city gives its OK. They have no risk.”
When asked what the city’s stance was on the issue, city attorney Bill Smerdon said, “They want us to transfer the wastewater discharge permit of National Beef to OWB. National Beef was not in compliance. OWB needs to apply for a new permit.”