A call has been made for Penrith Town Council to demand a review of the environmental permit granted to Omega Proteins, following a rise complaints over its infamous pong.
An enforcement notice has been issued by the Environment Agency following a condition breach of the permit which allows Omega Proteins to operate.
As a result of the enforcement notice, Omega needs to have designed and installed a system to ensure the efficiency of its three on site biofilters is maintained at all times by 30th October.
But Jonathan Davies told a virtual meeting of the town council on Monday that having spoken with the Environment Agency it appears they are “very restricted” in the enforcement action they can take with the current permit.
Mr Davies said: “I would recommend that the town council writes to the Environment Agency asking them to review the permit for the Omega Proteins site to put in place stronger enforcement around odours emitting beyond the boundary of the site.”
He told the meeting there had been a number of issues over the last month from the Omega site which had affected not just Penrith, but the surrounding villages as well.
“I have spent countless hours on the telephone with residents and also with the Environment Agency directly and Omega Proteins to try and get some action to sort things out,” said Mr Davies.
In a letter to residents, Graham Miller, of the Environment Agency, said: “During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to inspect Omega Proteins in a conventional manner and it is possible that this may have affected the environmental performance at the site.
“However, subject to COVID safe systems of work and in line with Government guidance, we are now resuming our full regulatory activities.
“In response to the increased number of reports, we have established a dedicated rota of staff to undertake targeted off site odour checks.
“Your odour reports are important as this helps us to target our odour checks and inspections at the facility.”
A spokesman for Leo Group, which owns the Penrith site, said: “Our industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the country.
“Over recent years we have and continue to invest heavily in our Penrith plant, making it one of the most modern of its kind in Europe. We want our Cumbria operation to be as unobtrusive as it can be, and this includes newer technologies to further minimise the impact of the operation on our neighbours.
“We continue to work with the Environment Agency and are on target to complete our work on the bio filter by the 30th October deadline.”