by Ben Cameron
A Brooklyn meat rendering company that caused a ‘rotting carcass’ smell so bad it stopped nearby residents from inviting visitors to their homes was found guilty in court on Tuesday.
Australian Tallow Producers was found guilty of three counts of air pollution offences in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court following an Environment Protection Authority Victoria investigation.
The company was found to have breached the Environment Protection Act 1970 after it polluted the atmosphere with odours offensive to humans on three separate occasions in June 2011 and September 2011.
ATP operates a rendering facility and manufactures tallow from mixed abattoir material on Geelong Road, Brooklyn.
On 22 June 2011, EPA received 13 complaints from nearby residents complaining about offensive odours coming from the site.
Complainants described the odour as a “smell like sewerage, like rotting carcass…”, a “very, very strong putrid dead animal smell…’’ which made one complainant say they felt like throwing up.
Another resident said they “had to lock all the doors and windows and could not have any fresh air in the house”.
The EPA received similar complaints the following day, and on September 21.
An EPA officer, who visited the area on 22 June 2011, reported a strong offensive odour comprising of a mixture of ‘manure, blood, bone and tallow’ coming from ATP’s premises.
Further visits by EPA officers on June 23, 2011 and September 21, 2011 confirmed the stench, with one officer reporting they “felt close to vomiting”.
The company will be sentenced on December 21, 2015.
EPA Chief Executive Officer, Nial Finegan said the EPA called on 11 witnesses, two expert witnesses and nine environment protection officers to give sworn evidence.
“The outcome is a win for the Brooklyn community who have had to put up with localised pollution issues for too long,” he said.
“No community should have to live with an odour so horrid that they can’t even have guests over, constantly feel nauseous and are forced to close their windows.”
The EPA had also issued ATP four pollution abatement notices since 2011 and were fined more than $7000 over an odour incident in 2013.
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