Citing urgent public interest on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Irvine City Manager Oliver Chi provided an update regarding the discussions between the City of Irvine and the All American Asphalt facility. While Chi said he could not mention specifics, Chi confirmed that Irvine has made progress in the attempt to purchase the land where the Orchard Hill-based asphalt manufacturer operates.

“We previously reported that the city is working to acquire the All American Asphalt plant, in an effort to effectuate the closure of the operation. Over the past few weeks, the city has been redoubling our efforts to actually acquire the AAA site,” he said. “We’re aware there’s a significant amount of public interest in this overall effort – we’re limited at this point on what we can share publicly – we did want to report that significant progress is being made.”

Chi added that the city’s end goal is to acquire the facility, a purchase they hope to make public in the coming weeks.

“Our ultimate end goal is to acquire the AAA site in order to convert that 12 acre piece of property into a public park facility, to serve as a gateway into the northern open space location,” he said. “There’s a lot of moving parts to the effort as we move through the next couple of weeks we will absolutely have more to share.”

The AAA facility, located on Jeffrey Road, manufactures hot mix asphalt. Since 2019, the facility has become the subject of more than 800 complaints filed with the AQMD regarding foul odor wafting into the surrounding residential areas.

Despite testing from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that indicates that the asphalt facility was one of the largest producers of known carcinogens in Irvine in 2020, some homeowners near Orchard Hills say the existence of the facility was not disclosed prior to purchase.

With three odor violations in 2022, and more than 1,000 odor complaints since 2019, an October 2022 report from the SCAQMD indicates that emissions produced by the facility, which produces hot mix asphalt, have not exceeded regulatory standards.

Last month, court records obtained by Irvine Weekly indicate that the city’s public nuisance lawsuit against the asphalt manufacturing facility is heading to a jury trial in May.

In term of options, Irvine’s actions are limited to acquiring the facility, or condemning it — both of which could exceed $100 million.

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