Thursday, November 03, 2011

Odour complaints rise

Three odour complaints were attributed to activities at the Chemtura plant in Elmira during the month of October. That compares to zero complaints in September. It has been some time since Chemtura has received this many complaints. Dwight Este, a spokesman for Chemtura, told members of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee that the company faced some challenges in determining the sources of these off-site odours, because the complaints were not called in immediately. “A number of complaints came in well after the fact, so it was very difficult to assess,” said Este. Jeff Merriman, also with Chemtura, emphasized that odour complaints can be called in to the company at any time of the day. Odour complaints can be made by calling 519-669-1671, ext. 317. Complaints can be registered anonymously, with callers just indicating the general vicinity of the odour. The shift supervisor will then go and investigate the complaint, determining whether the odour is indeed coming from Chemtura, and the potential source. Air samples can also be taken, if the call is made in a timely fashion. Callers may also call the Spills Action Centre, operated by the Ministry of the Environment. That number is 1-800-268-6060. At the CPAC meeting, committee member Sebastien Siebel-Achenbach noted that three odour complaints did not seem to be that many. “In the past, has it been higher, or has it stayed relatively the same?” asked Siebel-Achenbach. “In recent years, it’s been quite good,” replied Merriman. “We did have a rash of odour complaints around 1999, 2000 — a lot. It was unacceptable for the community, and unacceptable for us. “Since then, it’s been very good.”

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