Councillors to consider 'critical' report of animal rendering firm's activities

PROBE: Omega Proteins' Erlings Work site

PROBE: Omega Proteins' Erlings Work site

First published in News by

ENVIRONMENTAL health officers concerns over their dealings with animal rendering firm Omega Proteins Ltd will be presented to Bradford councillors next week.

The officers' report highlights various issues regarding complaints of excessive smells and criticises the pace at which the company is developing agreed improvements at the Erlings Works site between Thornton and Denholme.

The Council's environmental health department has sent out "smell diaries" to residents in the area near the plant and is now collating the results.

And the strongly-worded report asks councillors to continue to back officers investigating the on-going issues.

"It is recommended that members note the content of this report and that their disappointment that works identified to improve the situation at the plant have not been carried out by Omega Proteins Ltd is noted," it states.

"As complaints about the site continue, officers should be supported in their statutory duties to investigate and take enforcement action as appropriate and that ward members and the scrutiny chair are kept advised of any key actions."

The report will be presented to the meeting of the environment and waste overview and scrutiny committee next Tuesday and highlights that despite having planning permission since January, Omega Proteins has yet to build a third "bio-filter" to help minimise smells.

It states: "The company has since given several dates to Environmental Health by which time the bio-filter would be built.

"Regrettably we must report that, at the time of writing, work had not commenced on the bio-filter despite letters and emails from EH stressing our view that this was essential to ensure the proper abatement of foul odours extracted rom the plant."

Another critical point made concerns a delay in the construction of a trailer shed to house open lorries.

"The trailer shed for raw materials wagons to prevent fugitive emissions received planning permission in June 2011," the Council report states.

"Despite asking for a date when this would be commenced at each meeting, no date was given.

"A trench for the foundations of this shed has now been dug, but at the time of writing no completion date has been given."

The report also notes that with the onset of warm weather in July the level of complaints increased considerably with 12 complaints in one week alone.

"Additionally officers' visits to the site confirmed the emission of offensive odours beyond the site boundary," it states.

Omega Proteins Ltd was yesterday unable to provide a comment to the Telegraph & Argus about the report.

It has previously refuted allegations that it has breached odour controls since July and maintained that slurry spreading had been taking place in the area at the times it is accused of doing so.

It then added that the company intended to begin construction on the third bio-filter next month and that construction of the covered trailer shed will take place on its completion as "the two projects cannot coincide due to access limitations and HGV restrictions imposed by Bradford Council".

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