The EPA has issued Opal Paper Mill based at Matraville with licence conditions requiring it to investigate exhaust points where unpleasant odours have been identified and design suitable mitigation measures for implementation to reduce odour emissions.
The conditions were added to the licence in response to community complaints and the findings from an independent report assessing odours.
Due to the scope of works, the program of investigations will be carried out over several months.
The EPA will monitor implementation of the program and will continue to monitor odours at the site as it is implemented.
The EPA has received an increase in complaints and concerns over recent years regarding odours coming from the paper mill site.
Opal has advised that one of the types of odour, often described as ‘sour wet cardboard’, is a result of evaporation during the paper drying process.
The new licence conditions are responding to these concerns and are aimed at addressing odours from this process.
A separate odour type that has been reported from the site is sulfur or 'rotten egg'. This is a result of biogas discharging from pressure valves on the water treatment plant, which occasionally occurs as a safety measure. Opal installed gas monitors in 2021 to detect this discharge and allow them to take measures to minimise the impact of odour on the community.
The noise environment in the Port Botany area is complex and we are working with a number of stakeholders including Bayside and Randwick Councils and NSW Ports to identify noise sources in this area.
- See more information about our investigation into noise in Port Botany and the results of a noise monitoring program.
Opal recently commissioned an independent noise expert to conduct monitoring onsite to capture all noise emissions, including any annoying characteristics. This data has been used to verify Opal’s noise model, which assesses overall noise contribution from the facility. Ongoing onsite noise monitoring, coupled with this noise model, will be used to ensure that Opal comply with the noise limits set in their Environment Protection Licence.
Reporting odour, noise and other issues
Odour, noise and other issues you experience or concerns you have relating to Opal Paper Mill can be reported to Opal on 1800 072 734, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reporting to the licence holder in the first instance is appropriate and will ensure the quickest response as Opal can investigate immediately at the time of the report.
All environmental concerns or complaints can also be reported to the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opal’s Environment Protection Licence can be found on the EPA’s Public Register.