Food giant Dairygold may be a big cheese in North Cork but the company has run foul of locals in one town, due to a lingering bad smell its plant is producing.
The Environmental Protection Authority has confirmed the Dairygold plant in Mallow has been found to be non-compliant with its licence conditions relating to odours produced recently, and the company has been directed to address the issue.
Cllr John Paul O’Shea said the smell is “pretty bad” and has lingered over the western side of Mallow for weeks now, including throughout the town park.
The county councillor said he had received over a dozen complaints over the past three weeks in particular.
“I had people asking me what the cause of it was and as to whether is was something wrong with the sewerage, but that’s not the case as we now know,” he said.
Cork County Council’s environment directorate, he said, had spoken to the EPA over the smell.
Yesterday, C103FM took calls on the issue.
“It’s like bad sewerage gone wrong, or dead animals,” said Bridget, a caller to one programme.
Bridget said she was in the vicinity of the Dairygold plant twice in recent weeks visiting an adjacent business.
“I couldn’t stay there, it was awful,” she said, “I was going around with my fingers up to my nose and my mouth covered.
“I was heaving. I had a bottle of water with me, but I had to throw it away because I felt it was on the bottle as well. It was awful.”
The EPA confirmed it has investigated the matter and that the plant operates under a licence granted by the authority.
A spokesperson said the EPA had received four complaints in relation to odours from the facility between May 9 and May 28 last.
“The EPA has investigated these complaints and found Dairygold was in non-compliance with the licence conditions relating to odour,” she said.
The EPA, it emerged, has opened two compliance investigations in relation to the matter.
The agency said it will monitor Dairygold’s progress in undertaking corrective actions aimed at getting rid of the smell.
A statement from Dairygold said it “has been positively addressing issues relating to its wastewater treatment plant facility in Mallow”.
“We recently undertook a review of the plant and implemented a programme of works to alleviate intermittent odours from the plant.
“Dairygold can confirm that three site audits were carried out by the EPA in May during the period when Dairygold was actively working to resolve the issue,” the statement said.
“The society has taken this matter very seriously and believes that the situation has improved.
“Dairygold continues to closely monitor the situation to minimise the risk of any repeat occurrence,” the statement concluded.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved