Local News

Neutrog To Take EPA to Court


Neutrog is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has cancelled a community meeting scheduled to be held this evening.

The Fertiliser plant has been involved in a collaborative consultation with the EPA, Council, residents and local businesses, following multiple community complaints about a growing 'stench' in  Kanmantoo and surrounding communities, including Callington and St Ives.

St Ives resident Peter Roberts has been campaigning to hold the company more accountable for the issue, as he believes Neutrog’s recent expansion has increased a strong, unpleasant smell in the district.

"There are very few days, in the Summer months particuarly, when [community members] are not affected by the stench... it's affecting their lifestyle, its affecting their health, I can tell you there are people that are extremely stressed from this whole situation... and the businesses of Kanmantoo," Peter Roberts said.

Neutrog lodged an Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) with the EPA in April and has been collaboratively working to establish effective odour mitigation measures since then.

Following news last week from the EPA that they have issued Neutrog an expiation for "contravention of a licence condition," tonight's community meeting has been cancelled.

Managing Director Angus Irwin has issued a statement claiming that despite Neutrog's best efforts to work with stakeholders on an EIP, the actions of the EPA has caused the process to fall apart.

"Despite our efforts to work with the EPA, the issue by the EPA of an Expiation Notice (of which we are yet to receive a copy), during a time when the EPA had agreed to continue to consult with Neutrog, points to the abandonment of that collaborative and consultative approach on the part of the EPA," Angus Irwin said in a statement.

"This realisation, along with the refusal of the council, community, and EPA to acknowledge the other local odour source in the form of a raw sewage treatment facility, has led to our decision to indefinitely suspend the current process and move the matter to the Development Court. Given this move by the EPA, and on the advice of our lawyers, the Community Update Session that was scheduled for Monday the 4th of July, will now no longer proceed."

The Community Update Session was a requirement of the EPA and was intended as an open forum to discuss the approved EIP. 

Photo at top (file photo of manure) by Rob Bertholf,  supplied via Flickr