Progress on smell problem

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The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is taking action to vary the operating licences of three western Sydney waste operators who have been identified by independent experts as causing off-site odours around Eastern Creek, Erskine Park, St Clair and St Marys.

EPA Chair and CEO, Mr Barry Buffier, told a packed community forum in St Clair last night that the authority planned to immediately vary the operating licences of SITA at Elizabeth Drive, Kemps Creek, Eastern Creek Landfill Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek, and the UR3R Facility at Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek to ensure an ongoing reduction in odours.

“These three EPA-Licensed facilities were identified by The Odour Unit as causing off-site odours that are impacting communities around Eastern Creek, Erskine Park, St Clair and St Mary’s,” Mr Buffier said.

“The EPA is moving to immediately vary their operating licences to introduce a number of conditions to minimise the off-site odour problem

“These changes will require each company to:

1.    Implement odour reduction programs targeted to their particular operation such as reducing waste stockpiles or looking at enclosing stored waste material.

2.    Engage the services of an independent odour expert to review their operations on a monthly basis and to conduct odour surveys on and off their premises from October 2012.

3.    Engage an expert to conduct a performance evaluation of the odour control measures to ensure that ongoing operations are being conducted to minimise emissions, and

4.    Participate in a follow-up odour study to be conducted by The Odour Unit in 6 months time.

“Each of three identified companies will also be required to regularly report back to the EPA on their work and findings.”

Mr Buffier said that the forum also heard from waste operators about their plans to address odour issues.

“The EPA is pleased to see that waste operators are taking responsibility for their impacts and we will continue to work with them to affect a resolution to this issue as quickly as possible. We will be keeping a close watch on the activities being undertaken by these three companies, whilst we continue with our wider investigations and regulatory campaign in the area including conducting unannounced odour audits and facility inspections,” he said.

“Residents are encouraged to continue to report odours to the Environment line and the EPA will continue to follow up on these reports.To assist this process, residents will now be asked to identify the odours from a list developed by the Odour Unit and to rank the intensity of the odour.

”Odours are a complicated issue that are not easily resolved but the EPA is resolutely working toward a solution.”

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