Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines P & M Quality SmallGoods for emission of offensive odours in Scone

Media release: 15 March 2016

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued an $8,000 fine to P & M Quality SmallGoods Pty Ltd, for the emission of offensive odours from its Scone site on 21 January 2016. 

 EPA Manager Hunter Region, Adam Gilligan, said the EPA issued the penalty notice following ongoing concerns about offensive odours and non-compliance at this site. 

 “The EPA has received a number of complaints regarding this site in recent months” Mr Gilligan continued.   

 “On this occasion, the odour was caused by a series of breakdowns and a power failure in the abattoir’s rendering plant. During the breakdown the company stored a large amount of fresh offal in refrigerated containers before transporting the offal to an offsite rendering plant. This led to the emission of offensive odours.

 “Odours have a real impact on the comfort of local residents. In this case, residents reported that they stopped outdoor activities and remained inside their homes until the odour dissipated.

  “The EPA relies on the community to report environmental issues, such as offensive odours, and we will always act on reports where sensitive receptors are impacted. This includes homes, schools, public space adjacent to a residential area or hospitals, or places where a person’s regular daily life might be affected.”

 The EPA is considering further regulatory action should offensive odours continue to be emitted from the premises, which may include varying the licence to add a pollution reduction program aimed at tackling the odour issue. 

 P & M Quality SmallGoods Pty Ltd has indicated improvement works are planned to reduce odour issues on site, in particular upgrades to the company’s waste water treatment process.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 15 March 2016