Factory fined $2k for odour breaches

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 08:29 22/05/2014
Gelita
FAIRFAX NZ
FINED FOR ODOUR BREACHES: Gelita, the gelatine factory in Woolston.

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Problem Christchurch gelatine factory Gelita has been slapped with $2000 in fines for odour breaches in January and April this year. 

The Woolston-based company is in the process of securing three years leniency from Environment Canterbury, which it says will allow it to solve its odour problems. 

The latest fines, both for $1000, were for offensive odours beyond the site boundary on January 17 and April 8 this year, violating its resource consent.

The company was also fined three times by ECan in January 2013. 

Factory manager Gary Monk said while Gelita only received the official notification of fines on Monday, it had already worked with ECan to solve the problems. 

In January, odour problems stemmed from damaged drains. Monk said a sump and pump had been installed within 10 days of the breach. 

In April, a damaged effluent clarifier resulted in increased odour.

The long-term solution to the breach was included in the company's three-year rebuild plan. 

The fines have come at a difficult time for the embattled company, which is currently appealing to ECan and the community for support and leniency. 

Owner of the nearby Tannery complex, Alasdair Cassels, said he was not surprised Gelita had been fined. 

''Gelita are obviously breaking the law and they're being fined for it,'' he said. 

Monk said he was confident the work done by Gelita to mitigate the odour problems and improved communication with the community would stand it in good stead for its application to ECan. 

''We continue to work hard and act where possible to quickly resolve issues,'' he said. ''Some issues are part of the bigger rebuild picture which we proposing and seeking support of.''

Hearings of public submissions for Gelita's application will be held before independent ECan commissioners.

A tentative hearing date has been set for June 23.

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