December 2022 update
In November 2022, the EPA responded to community reports about odours and the operation of the AJ Bush and Sons meat rendering facility at Riverstone. EPA officers attended the AJ Bush and Sons premises and identified the predominant source of the odour.
On 19 December 2022, we issued AJ Bush and Sons with a clean-up notice which requires them to take immediate actions to reduce the impact the odour has been having on the community.
The work required to complete these actions is likely to generate additional odours. AJ Bush & Sons is required to manage this work carefully to reduce the impact on nearby residents however it is unlikely that odours will be completely eliminated during this time. The clean-up notice requires AJ Bush & Sons to keep the community informed about the actions they are taking to address odours.
The issued notice can be found on the EPA’s Public Register and requires immediate actions in addition to the longer term actions detailed below.
The EPA continues to investigate these odour events and may consider further regulatory action as an outcome of these investigations.
We also continue to investigate reports of odour generation impacting residents of the nearby suburbs of Box Hill and Riverstone via announced and unannounced inspections of the AJ Bush and Sons premises and odour surveys in the nearby residential areas. This approach is helping us to understand the level of odour being experienced by the residents and to determine whether actions taken by AJ Bush and Sons are reducing the level of odour experienced.
The AJ Bush and Sons Environment Protection Licence (EPL No. 1100) does not impose operating hour restrictions, permitting this premises to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, the actual operating hours of the premises are demand driven.
Enquiries regarding planned operating times of the AJ Bush and Sons premises, should be directed to AJ Bush and Sons.
Odour Management Action Plan
In 2021, AJ Bush and Sons engaged odour experts to identify odorous activities, assess performance of odour controls and provide recommendations to reduce odour from the premises. We subsequently required AJ Bush and Sons to develop an Odour Management Action Plan outlining how these recommendations would be implemented.
We reviewed the Action Plan and varied the licence to require these actions to be implemented at the premises by AJ Bush and Sons. A report on the effectiveness of these actions will be submitted to the EPA by AJ Bush and Sons by February 2023. This is in addition to the immediate actions required in the clean-up notice.
Effluent Irrigation Management Plan
AJ Bush and Sons’ Environment Protection Licence requires them to prepare an Effluent Irrigation Management Plan to identify improvements to be made to irrigation activities at the premises. We are currently varying the licence to require AJ Bush and Sons to implement recommendations provided within the Management Plan. The finalised variation will be made available on the EPA’s Public Register.
Reports from the community play an important role in investigating odour and air-pollution incidents and we appreciate how unpleasant the impacts can be.
While odour mitigating actions are being implemented, the complete absence of odour from the local environment is not likely to be achieved. We continue to work with the licensee to reduce the odour impacts on nearby residents.
Enquiries and concerns should be directed to the licensee in the first instance as they are in a position to investigate the source of the odour and implement actions in a timely manner.
We encourage you to continue to report odour events to the EPA via Environment Line 131 555 or email@example.com.