EPA finds source of odour, noise


Tara Murray

A Sunshine North business has been ordered to install an air motioning program after complaints from nearby residents about odours and noise.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria said it had received an increased number of complaints from residents in the Sunshine North community throughout 2020.

Investigations found the odour and noise was from the resin manufacturing plant of Akzo Nobel, in McIntyre Road.

Under its EPA licence, Akzo Nobel is prohibited from emitting or releasing offensive odours beyond its site boundaries.

The EPA website last week had a page dedicated to the Akzo Nobel investigations to keep residents up to date.

“The main odour comes from the site’s resin manufacturing activity,” the page stated.

“Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) used in this activity can cause offensive odour. VOCs may contain oxygen, nitrogen, and other carbon chain compounds.”

Low levels of VOCs odour can cause low mood, anxiety and stress and eye, nose, throat or lung irritation.

The EPA said it was working closely with Akzo Nobel and the community to protect resident’s health and the environment.

“We’re seeking a long-term solution to community concerns about odour from Akzo Nobel’s site,” the page stated.

“In response to recent odour reports, we’ve been on-site at Akzo Nobel and nearby residential areas regularly to assess the odour issue and its impacts.”

In December, the EPA issued Akzo Nobel with a remedial notice to provide plans for an air monitoring program for the plant. Part of the notice requires the company to give results of the air monitoring to the EPA by March 14. The plan is currently being assessed by the EPA for approval.

The page states that Akzo Nobel is planning to build an air treatment system to control odour.

The EPA will issue a new remedial notice to ensure the treatment system goes ahead.

It is unlikely the system will be working before the middle of this year.

Also in December, the EPA served Akzo Nobel with a remedial notice that requires it to control noise from its site after results from a noise monitor showed levels were higher than legislation permits.

Akzo Nobel was previously issued with remedial notices in 2019. The company received an official warning from the EPA in 2020 for not complying with a notice.

The EPA website states Akzo Nobel is planning to hold community engagement forums throughout this year.