Rotting carcass smell costs rendering company $200,000

Source: Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Meat rendering company, Australian Tallow Producers Ltd (ATP), has been fined $200,000 after they were found guilty of air pollution offenses on three separate occasions. The company manufactures tallow from mixed abattoir material at their rendering facility in Brooklyn, Victoria.

In June 2011, EPA investigated reports of an offensive odour coming from the facility, described as a “smell like sewerage, like rotting carcass” and a “strong putrid dead animal smell”. Residents described how the smell was impacting upon their lifestyle and ability to enjoy their homes, with one saying they had to “lock all the doors and windows and could not have any fresh air in the house”. Another complainant said that the smell made them feel like throwing up.

EPA officers confirmed the offensive odour during their investigation, with one officer reporting that they “felt close to vomiting”. Similar smells were also confirmed on two further occasions in June and September 2011.

ATP was convicted in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in December 2015 and was ordered to pay $200,000 to fund a local community environmental project. The fine will contribute to the Brooklyn Reserve Master Plan, allowing council to upgrade the local reserve area. The upgrade will include play equipment, park furniture and the planting of 40 trees. In sentencing, Magistrate Livingston said that while the fine was about punishment for the offense, it was also about giving the impacted community a gift.

EPA called on 11 witnesses, two expert witnesses and nine environment protection officers to provide evidence during the court proceedings. In addition, EPA has issued ATP with four pollution abatement notices requiring the company to fix environment control issues and reduce odour impacts. ATP was also fined over $7000 for a separate odour incident in 2013.

Read the official EPA Media Release.

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