SAN DIEGO – Relief could be coming soon to community members in Barrio Logan, after dealing with a foul odor from a biofuel plant for years.

New Leaf Biofuel has received the approval from San Diego County Air Pollution Control District to start on their new odor reducing system.

The biofuel plant converts vegetable-based cooking oils to diesel fuel, which neighbor Peter Colon says has been smelling horrible for years.

“It gets worse and worse and worse,” said Colon, who has lived across the street for eight year. “You get headaches, I throw up sometimes, I have trouble breathing sometimes, it’s like a nightmare.”

The district received their first formal complaint of the odor in November of 2021 and has since received a total of 21 public complaints and conducted 50 complaint investigations between November 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022.

The district confirmed the foul odor is coming from the biofuel plant which has impacted the surrounding community.

“It’s a shame really that residents have had to continue to suffer and have to change that way they move and operate in their own homes because of these smells,” said Nicholas Paul, with the Environmental Health Coalition.

The coalition is petitioning for the district to stop the biofuel plant from producing the odor making some residents sick.

Since the first formal complaint, the district has issued the biofuel plant three notices of violations.

“How long must we suffer, how long? Until we die?,” Colon said.

The biofuel plant will now start to install their odor-reducing system, which will include fans, filtration and air duct system.

According to the district, the installation should be completed by Dec. 9, per New Leaf Biofuel.

There will be a public hearing scheduled for Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. for the proposed Stipulated Abatement Order.

To attend this hearing, please contact the Clerk of the Hearing Board at (858) 586-2600 or via email at to receive the call-in phone number and access code. Members of the public may address the Hearing Board on this matter at the meeting on October 27, 2022 and/or may submit written comments to the Clerk of the Hearing Board, via email at or at 10124 Old Grove Road, San Diego 92131. 

Written comments must be received by 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2022.