EPA Victoria has charged Van Hessen Australia Pty Ltd and an officer of the company following persistent offensive odours affecting Wangaratta since October.


At the same time, the company has been served with a prohibition notice. This notice stops it discharging wastewater into its wastewater ponds until dissolved oxygen levels are maintained at an acceptable level and odours are not discharged beyond the boundary of the premises.


EPA charged the company, which has an office in Albury, NSW, and its Wangaratta-based manager in relation to breaching conditions of the company’s licence to operate a sausage skin manufacturing plant in Shanley St, Wangaratta South.


The company’s licence condition requires it to ensure odours are not discharged, emitted or released beyond the boundaries of the premises.


Since mid-October, EPA has received more than 160 reports of offensive odours from the Wangaratta community .


EPA Acting North East Regional Manager Ben Kneebone said this notice was focused on reducing odour and its impact on community.


“Our officers will continue to inspect the site. We have been conducting regular odour surveillance in the nearby residential and industrial areas and we believe the notice will assist in reducing the impacts on the community.”


“We want the issue of odour impacting on local residents fixed as quickly as possible.’”


The company must respond to EPA by 6 January 2023, showing how it has achieved compliance with the notice’s conditions.


The breach mentioned in each charge is a criminal offence under section 63(1) of the Environment Protection Act 2017 and carries a maximum fine of $1,849,200 for companies and $369,840 for individuals.


EPA guidelines regarding odour from licensed premises are available at www.epa.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 23 December 2022