THE NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has hit JBS Australia Pty Limited with a $15,000 fine for alleged breaches of its Environment Protection Licence at Scone Abattoir.
The matters came to light during an EPA inspection on March 18 this year.
EPA acting director Hunter Lindsay Fulloon said the EPA alleged the company had failed to operate plant and equipment in a proper and efficient manner.
"An EPA officer inspected the rendering plant at the abattoir and observed a large roller door into the abattoir was being left open, when it is a requirement to keep this closed when not in use to help minimise odours," he explained.
"The process of rendering converts waste animal tissue into useable proteins.
"This can produce strong odours.
"It is alleged that for 16 days, by failing to repair the roller door after it was damaged by a truck, JBS Australia failed to operate in a proper and efficient manner and potentially exposed the surrounding community to offensive odours.
"The EPA believes the doorway remained open for 16 days until directions were issued to close it."
The EPA received a number of complaints about odour from the surrounding community during the time the door remained open.
The EPA is working with JBS to improve environmental performance at the abattoir, including a commitment from JBS to install an additional odour capture system within the rendering plant.
That commitment has been included on their Environment Protection Licence.
"Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions," Mr Fulloon said.
"In this instance the EPA issued a penalty notice.
"The notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court."
For more information about the EPA's regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm