Residents of Irwindale have fought for months to shut down the Sriracha plant, which they say produces strong chemical odors that have caused heartburn, nose bleeds, and inflamed asthma. Last month, the Irwindale city council voted to declare the factory a public nuisance, though the council has since backed down somewhat.
Still, Huy Fong Foods founder and chief executive David Tran is said to be considering moving the plant. But what state would willingly put short-term economic gains ahead of the well being of its residents? Texas, of course.
At least three Texas state representatives—State Rep. Hubert Vo, D-Houston, state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas—plus reps from the offices of Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbot will meet with Tran on Monday. Villalba and Uresti say the factory could move to San Antonio, where most of the chili peppers needed for the sauce are grown, or to a nearby city.
"It's obviously early and preliminary to suggest that they're going to take that next step, but at least they're open to considering it," Villalba told the Texas Tribune. "This is a serious endeavor."
And after thinking it over, Tran has decided to stay in his Irwindale factory. He has lived in California for more than 30 years, and he says he's not planning to move.
But he might open another site, outside Southern California. An additional location would allow him to keep up with the ever-growing demand for Sriracha and develop an added source for peppers, in case climate change threatens his current supply.
[Image via AP]