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Consent granted for company following court conviction

A Tuakau meat rendering plant convicted of discharging objectionable odour from its premises has proposed major upgrades.

The proposed upgrades have formed the basis for Environment Waikato agreeing to grant the company, Waikato By Products, a new resource consent to continue operating. The company has undertaken that the upgrades will finally address the ongoing objectionable odour discharges from the site.

Waikato By Products was recently fined $21,000 in the Pukekohe District Court for discharging objectionable odour in early 2008. An EW summary of facts said there had been more than 400 complaints over a period of years about objectionable odour from Waikato By Products. Comments included that odours could "smell like sewage" or were "putrid, foul and rancid".

The company is now also facing a second EW prosecution following a further series of odours affecting local residents in early 2009. The company is due to appear again in the Pukekohe District Court on 22 July to face the new prosecution brought by EW.

An application to renew the company’s resource consent was heard in Hamilton before independent commissioners Doug Arcus and Bruce Graham, along with EW councillor Jane Hennebry.  The hearing committee has agreed to grant the consent subject to the company, Waikato By Products, going ahead with promised plant upgrades to stop offensive odours reaching neighbours.   

In its consent decision issued today, the hearing committee said it had accepted expert advice that plant upgrades proposed by the company would effectively control odour emissions. 

The decision said "we are now satisfied that the proposed upgrades will proceed in a structured and managed way" and that it was accepted that the proposed plant upgrade would be effective in minimising odour releases from the site.

"As to the future, we note that it will be essential for the plant operations to be properly managed, monitored and maintained, to ensure the problems of the past do not return," the committee said. 

Commenting on the committee’s decision, EW’s complaints and enforcement manager Rob Dragten said: "The hearings committee is confident that proposed upgrades at the plant will now deal with the problems. But we will monitor Waikato By Products closely to ensure the company complies with its new consent conditions."

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