Parmalat issued with notice from EPA following odour complaints

Dairy company Parmalat Food Products has been issued with a Prevention Notice by the EPA following complaints about foul odours coming from its factory in western Sydney.

Neighbours of the dairy processing facility on Birnie Avenue in Lidcombe have complained for the last two months about the problem. Residents have complained that the smell is like ‘sour milk’ and a ‘sewer’.

Following multiple site inspections where EPA officers detected the strong and offensive odours offsite, Parmalat has been issued with the notice requiring them to engage a suitably qualified consultant this week to deliver recommendations to the EPA by May 27.

The consultant will be required to undertake a comprehensive site odour assessment identifying and prioritising potential sources that may be contributing to the offsite odour and developing short, medium and long term management options.

EPA Manager Sydney Industry Greg Sheehy said the Prevention Notice was designed to provide expedited relief to nearby residents and businesses while the EPA’s investigations continue.

“We believe that the initial odours may have been related to 360,000 litres of wastewater that turned anaerobic so our investigations are looking into why this occurred and how the company then dealt with the incident,” Sheehy said.

“EPA inspections have also identified other potential sources of odour which is why the Prevention Notice requires a range of onsite sources to be investigated.

“These odours have been very unpleasant for neighbours of the Birnie Road site so our aim is to address this issue as quickly as possible.

“By getting an expert on-board to assess the situation we hope to get some practical solutions in place to mitigate the offsite impacts and hopefully eliminate them from re-occurring down the track.”

The EPA will continue to work with Parmalat throughout this process and encourages anybody with odour concerns about the site to report their complaint to the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.