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EPA Victoria issues pollution abatement notices to Amcor to improve local odour impact at its Alphington paper mill

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EPA Victoria issues pollution abatement notices to Amcor to improve local odour impact at its Alphington paper mill

May 29, 2011 - 17:48
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MELBOURNE, May 27, 2011 (Press Release) -EPA Victoria confirmed today it had issued five Pollution Abatement Notices (Notices) to Amcor Packaging Pty Ltd to address odour and waste management issues at its Alphington paper manufacturing site.

The Notices were issued to Amcor on May 20 following hundreds of complaints from the local community, an extensive six week odour surveillance exercise by EPA Officers and further discussions with the company about implementing measures to reduce the impact of odour in and around Alphington.

EPA CEO John Merritt said he now expected the company to act.

"We don't take these actions lightly, but it is really important for all major industrial sites like this to respect the communities they operate within."

As part of the Notices served on Amcor, the company is required to reduce the impact of odour from its clarifier, trade waste ponds, recycled paper plant and recycling centre.

In a separate Notice concerning waste, Amcor is required to ensure no waste is discharged to stormwater, improve containment of chemicals and oils, as well as implement a stormwater monitoring program.

"Odour complaints skyrocketed late last year and have continued into 2011, which is why EPA Officers spent a significant amount of time in the field in February gathering evidence and confirming complaints," Mr Merritt said.

"I made it clear to Amcor, publicly and privately, they needed to move swiftly to address the odour pollution issues. Unfortunately complaints have continued and we have now issued five Notices instructing Amcor to rectify the situation.

Mr Merritt said Amcor's intentions to vacate the site at some stage in the next few years played no role in how the EPA would regulate the site.

"We are determined to improve the amenity for the local community and expect Amcor to promptly implement measures that reduce the odour affects on the local community," he said.

The Environment Protection Act provides for fines up to $286,680 for contravening a Pollution Abatement Notice. In the case of a continuing offence, a company may be ordered to pay up to $143,340 for each day on which the offence continues.