An Environment Court judge has fined Waihi company Farm Meats 2000 Limited $12,500 for objectionable odour from its factory.
The company has also been ordered to commission an independent review of its processes and take any steps necessary to stop unpleasant odour wafting beyond the boundary of its property.*
Environment Waikato received 55 individual complaints about bad smells coming from the Dean Crescent business, which produces pet treats and chews from meat products, between November 2005 and March 2006.
One complainant likened the smell to a “decomposing dead animal”, while others described it as “unbearable”, “disgusting” and “nauseating”.
The council laid charges against the company in Waihi District Court on March 27, alleging five separate breaches of air discharge laws.
Farm Meats 2000 Limited pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday by Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith in Mt Maunganui District Court.
In making his decision, Judge Smith took into account the company’s early guilty plea and its financial position.
He also took into account the revulsion of members of the public, particularly nearby residents.
He convicted Farm Meats 2000 Limited on five counts of discharging contaminants to air. Environment Waikato had already issued $5000 worth of infringement notices to the company’s general manager at the time of offending.
Environment Waikato’s Group Manager of Resource Use, Chris McLay, said the Court had supported Council’s view that offences against the Resource Mangement Act were serious and should not be tolerated.
“It is unacceptable to expect the local community to suffer whilst businesses flout regional regulations,” he said.
* Please note: The exact requirements of the Court’s enforcement order, including time lines, will be finalised within 10 working days.