EPA fines Visy Paper over Reservoir odour

EPA has fined a paper recycling company more than $9,000 for failing to take action to stop odour from its Reservoir plant affecting people in nearby neighbourhoods.

EPA Northern Metropolitan Regional Manager Jeremy Settle says the fine comes after Visy Paper Pty Ltd failed to comply with an EPA remedial notice requiring action to minimise the emission of offensive odours into residential areas.

“The plant is in Radford Rd, Reservoir, and during May 2021 our officers detected its offensive odour among homes in Zinnia St, Edwardes Rd, Newlands Rd and Kelverne St, as far as 450 metres away,” Mr Settle said.

“An EPA Odour Engineer described it as a strong odour with wet paper and sweet fermented characteristics,” he said.

EPA issued a remedial notice requiring the company to install controls to minimise the escape of odours offensive to the senses of human beings into residential areas and provide a written report explaining the actions taken and improvements achieved, and proposing any future odour control measures.

The notice gave a deadline of 1 August, but EPA continued to receive odour complaints from residents and when officers returned on 1 September, they found the company had not taken sufficient actions to comply. EPA has fined the company $9,087.

“The fine does not let the company off the hook for the requirements of the notice, it must still take action to prevent offensive odour affecting nearby residential streets to reduce the company’s ongoing culpability,” Mr Settle said.

“The signal to all businesses is that they must know and meet their responsibilities to the environment and the community, and EPA remedial notices must be taken seriously,” he said.

The Visy Paper plant at Reservoir processes commercial and residential paper waste into a 100% recycled product.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Under the Environment Protection Act and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or providing details online at epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution

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