Gelita gets extension before hearing

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR
Last updated 16:00 09/06/2014
Gelita
FAIRFAX NZ
SMELL EXTENSON: Gelita, the gelatine factory in Woolston, has been granted an extra two months to prepare for a resource consent hearing about the smells it emits.

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A Woolston factory has been given extra time to prepare for a resource consent hearing about the smell it emits.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) has granted Gelita NZ Limited an extension to prepare for the hearing to allow it to address the health and safety issues.

The hearing, which concerns a change of conditions to the gelatine factory's discharge of air contaminants, was scheduled to be held on June 23 but will instead take place to September 1.

Gelita plant manager Gary Monk said a building had been identified as an "open process areas", which needed to be enclosed to reduce emissions. Earthquake repair work was underway along with enclosing the area.

Monk said the company had "gone a fair way to enclosing it" but then stopped because it had increased the level of gases inside, creating unsafe working conditions for Gelita's employees

He said the company was exploring options, including an additional extraction system or changes to processing, to resolve the issue.

The company needed time to investigate how to address the issue as any modifications would need to be included in the consent application.

''We know submitters and the community want a resolution to our on-going odour issues,'' Monk said.

He said the company wanted the hearing to go ahead ''as soon as possible'' but also had a duty to provide a safe working environment for employees.

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- The Press

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