Peter J Ramsay & Associates Assists Environment Protection Authority with Regulatory Approval Application in Victoria, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Dealing with the odorous emissions from industry and their impact on surrounding communities can be a challenge in today's society. In Victoria, the regulatory instrument in relation to industrial sources of odorous emissions is the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) 2001 (SEPP (AQM)). The policy includes a design criterion for new sources of odorous emissions of no more than one Odour Unit (OU) beyond the property boundary. This conservative design criterion has been adopted to protect sensitive receptors from potential sources of odour. Experience has shown that odorous emissions in excess of 10 OU in residential areas are likely to be strong enough to generate complaints. The SEPP (AQM) states that where a proposed development is expected to exceed the odour design criterion, they must prove to the regulatory authority, using a Risk Assessment approach, that the risk of off-site impacts is negligible.
Australian Native Landscapes (ANL), a large Australian-based firm which works in the horticultural and agricultural industry, has been operating a green waste composting facility in the Coldstream area of Victoria, Australia since 2006. The facility is located only 500m from its nearest residential area and odorous emissions generated from the site have in the past generated significant complaints from the local community.
In January 2010, ANL submitted a permit application to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for upgrades to the site. The upgrades included significant investment in technology to minimise off-site odours, and included enclosure of the green waste receivals area; installation of an extraction system for odorous emissions and aerated covers on all composting windrows; and the capture of all major odorous sources for treatment using bio filters.
Peter J Ramsay & Associates was engaged by the EPA to assist in their review of the application and provide advice on the potential for off-site odour impacts from the proposed operations. This included a review of the input data for the dispersion modelling and assessment of the robustness of the proposed abatement technology.
The EPA recently announced that despite the odour abatement technologies that were proposed, the permit application has been refused. It is not known at this time whether ANL will appeal this decision. This article serves as a useful reminder of the importance of ensuring that there is an appropriate buffer distance between industrial sources of odour and residential areas, as well as leading edge abatement technology.
For further information please contact Peter Clark at Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org