The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority says it continues to receive regular complaints of foul odours emanating from the Australian Agricultural Co’s abattoir at Livingstone, south of Darwin.
In a statement issued this morning, the NT EPA said it began to receive complaints in January, and they had continued ever since.
The NT EPA wrote to the company some time ago noting that the ‘foul odours’ were unacceptable, and that the emissions were to cease.
“Unfortunately, this has not occurred and the odours have not been addressed,” the EPA statement said.
On Wednesday last week, the agency formally notified AA Co that it was to undertake a site-specific environmental odour audit conducted by an independent environmental auditor under section 48 of the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.
Chairman of the NT EPA, Dr Bill Freeland, said that the auditor would be a qualified auditor experienced in odour assessment and management.
The audit will include consultation with local residents about the ongoing odours, as well as to assess and measure all potential sources of odour, the effectiveness of existing odour controls, cleaning, maintenance and house-keeping in relation to release of foul odours, and the effects of changing wind direction and speed on odour emissions.
The investigation would also determine whether the company is compliant with its licencing requirements, Dr Freeland said.
“The company will be required to develop and implement an Odour Management Plan according to recommendations provided by the auditor and as approved by the NT EPA.”
“There is no reason why AA Co cannot eliminate the problem of foul odours. It is long overdue that it be done,” Dr Freeland said.
AA Co has this afternoon issued the following statement:
“AA Co has been working closely with the EPA to monitor odours and has made a number of significant changes to the facility and its operations to reduce odours.
“Since taking these measures earlier this year, the number of complaints received by the company has reduced dramatically. The company has been in regular contact with the EPA to keep it informed of the success of these initiatives. The company continues to make improvements to managing odours and has separately applied to the NT Government to build additional improvements to the facility to specifically manage odours.
“The company has committed to address any issues raised by the independent auditor.”