The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has presented an ultimatum to TimCo Foods Ltd. regarding a proposed odour-control system for its St. George processing plant.
Jennifer Hall, spokesperson for the MOE west central region, said in a statement that a biofilter system proposed by the company to control odour has been deemed ineffective by the MOE.
Hall said the company must comply with an order to hire a consultant to conduct source testing by early September or risk a suspension of its environmental approvals to continue production.
“TimCo has proposed to install a biofilter system to clean the air before it leaves the facility,” Hall said. “While biofilter systems can properly manage odours if they are well-designed and maintained, the proposed biofilter design information provided by TimCo was found to be deficient.
“The ministry will only approve the biofilter if it will be effective in managing the odours being emitted from TimCo. The company’s application for an approval amendment is on hold until source testing demonstrates that the proposed biofilter will be effective in controlling odours.”
Hall said the company has hired an environmental consultant and must submit a report on source testing results to the MOE by Sept. 6.
“The ministry will closely oversee the company’s progress in complying with the order,” Hall said. “The ministry has also advised the company that failure to comply will likely result in the suspension of its environmental approvals to operate.
“The ministry wants to ensure that prompt action is taken to protect the community from any odour impacts.”
TimCo Foods general manager Raj Kumar said earlier in a statement that the business has been working co-operatively with the MOE.
“TimCo Foods Ltd. has submitted all plans and requirements to the MOE well in advance of the deadlines issued,” Kumar said. “The company is working as quickly as the MOE will allow to put the proposed solution in place.”
TimCo Foods set up in an industrial area on Prospect Street in St. George during the summer of 2011. The plant produces edible oils by processing fat trimmings.
Residents living in the area surrounding the plant have voiced dissatisfaction with odour emitted by the operation. The company submitted an odour-control plan to the MOE at the end of January, part of which involved installing a biofilter air-filtration system.
Meanwhile, County of Brant councillors voted unanimously during a meeting on July 3 to urge the MOE to issue an order for the company to cease production until an odour control solution is reached.
Brant MPP Dave Levac has sent a letter to Ontario Minister of the Environment James Bradley urging that swift action be taken on the odour issue.
“These noxious odours have persisted for almost a year and I would have to agree this has gone on far too long,” Levac said in the letter. “Constituents of Ontario should not be subjected to such conditions for any period of time, let alone almost a year and counting.
“I would respectfully and strongly urge you to use your full authority to implement an immediate solution to the noxious odour discharge from TimCo Foods.”