Rothsay rendering plant fined $682,500 for odour violations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Maple Leaf Foods has agreed in court to pay one of the largest fines in Ontario for odour violations.

Rothsay, owned by Maple Leaf Foods, pled guilty to 18 charges, which included causing adverse odour, discharging excessive amounts of effluent and failing to comply with a provincial order to decommission two of its lagoons.

"It is one of the largest fines for odour," said John Steele, communications spokesperson for the environment ministry.

The ministry had laid 38 charges against Rothsay.

People complaining about the odours reported nausea, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and inability to go outside, said ministry officials.

The company was fined $450,000 for violating odour controls in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The company was fined $232,500 for the remaining 17 charges for a total of $682,500. A 25 per cent victim fine surcharge will be added to the fine, said Steele.

Rothsay recycles animal and poultry by-products, including bones, trim, fat, offal, and feathers.

Anne Tennier of Waterdown, vice-president of environmental and manufacturing services for Maple Leaf Foods, pointed out the incidents occurred before the company spent about $50 million to upgrade Rothsay facility's environmental controls.

"The environmental controls had not been upgraded at the time," she said.

"The fines are the product of long negotiations with the ministry. You hope you don't get fined. We've dealt with the issues."

She said the money spent at Rothsay includes $10 million to improve the rendering equipment, completed in 2002; $11-million for the installation of a biofilter, completed in 2003; and $27 million in improvements to the facility's wastewater treatment.

The new technology, said Tennier, has already resulted in improved environmental conditions. The biofilter has meant a 94 per cent removal of odours from the plant, while the wastewater facility has a 99 per cent compliance rate. "We're still hoping to get it to 100 per cent," she said.

The company though, is facing further odour complaints from an incident this June, said Steele.

Tennier confirmed an "upset" at the wastewater plant, resulted in odour problems over a five-day period.

"We did receive a number of complaints," she said.

Improving the facility's environmental controls is a difficult and costly process, she said.

"It's tougher to improve an older plant, which is about 50 years old," she said.

The fines comes at a sensitive time for Maple Leaf Foods, which is looking to purchase city land to build a pork processing facility.

Eleanor Giacomazza, one of numerous Mountain residents, who has been fighting against Maple Leaf Foods proposal to purchase about 50 acres of city property at the North Glanbrook Industrial Park, says the charges and fines against Maple Leaf Foods should be a wake-up call for councillors to reject the company's application to purchase the land.

"There is no need to rush this decision," she said.

Opponents of the pork processing facility argue the location is too close to a residential neighbourhood.

Maple Leaf Foods officials say odours will be contained within the facility.

Tennier also points out that Rothsay is a rendering plant, which is different than what is being planned for Glanbrook. There will be no rendering operations at the industrial park site, she said.

"It's understandable people would have concerns," she said. "Our proposal in Glanbrook does not include any rendering."

Tennier, who during a series of public meetings has stated the company is committed to building a state-of-the-art facility with all of the newest environmental controls, said before the facility is constructed, it will have to receive at least 10 provincial ministry approvals, including from the environment ministry.

"We will be doing everything to address environmental issues," she said.

A committee of the whole meeting will be scheduled at city hall to debate the merits of the land sale.

Although Giacomazza will be making a presentation to councillors, she decried the process as a "farce" since the public doesn't really know what will occur when politicians go in camera to talk about selling the land to the company.

Tennier said Maple Leaf Foods can be trusted to meet its environmental goals. The proof, she said, is the company's action to spend $50 million to upgrade its Rothsay facility.

"Our record speaks for itself in addressing the issues," she said. "This has been a good and strong learning experience."

Rothsay rendering plant fined $682,500 for odour violations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Maple Leaf Foods has agreed in court to pay one of the largest fines in Ontario for odour violations.

Rothsay, owned by Maple Leaf Foods, pled guilty to 18 charges, which included causing adverse odour, discharging excessive amounts of effluent and failing to comply with a provincial order to decommission two of its lagoons.

"It is one of the largest fines for odour," said John Steele, communications spokesperson for the environment ministry.

The ministry had laid 38 charges against Rothsay.

People complaining about the odours reported nausea, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and inability to go outside, said ministry officials.

The company was fined $450,000 for violating odour controls in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The company was fined $232,500 for the remaining 17 charges for a total of $682,500. A 25 per cent victim fine surcharge will be added to the fine, said Steele.

Rothsay recycles animal and poultry by-products, including bones, trim, fat, offal, and feathers.

Anne Tennier of Waterdown, vice-president of environmental and manufacturing services for Maple Leaf Foods, pointed out the incidents occurred before the company spent about $50 million to upgrade Rothsay facility's environmental controls.

"The environmental controls had not been upgraded at the time," she said.

"The fines are the product of long negotiations with the ministry. You hope you don't get fined. We've dealt with the issues."

She said the money spent at Rothsay includes $10 million to improve the rendering equipment, completed in 2002; $11-million for the installation of a biofilter, completed in 2003; and $27 million in improvements to the facility's wastewater treatment.

The new technology, said Tennier, has already resulted in improved environmental conditions. The biofilter has meant a 94 per cent removal of odours from the plant, while the wastewater facility has a 99 per cent compliance rate. "We're still hoping to get it to 100 per cent," she said.

The company though, is facing further odour complaints from an incident this June, said Steele.

Tennier confirmed an "upset" at the wastewater plant, resulted in odour problems over a five-day period.

"We did receive a number of complaints," she said.

Improving the facility's environmental controls is a difficult and costly process, she said.

"It's tougher to improve an older plant, which is about 50 years old," she said.

The fines comes at a sensitive time for Maple Leaf Foods, which is looking to purchase city land to build a pork processing facility.

Eleanor Giacomazza, one of numerous Mountain residents, who has been fighting against Maple Leaf Foods proposal to purchase about 50 acres of city property at the North Glanbrook Industrial Park, says the charges and fines against Maple Leaf Foods should be a wake-up call for councillors to reject the company's application to purchase the land.

"There is no need to rush this decision," she said.

Opponents of the pork processing facility argue the location is too close to a residential neighbourhood.

Maple Leaf Foods officials say odours will be contained within the facility.

Tennier also points out that Rothsay is a rendering plant, which is different than what is being planned for Glanbrook. There will be no rendering operations at the industrial park site, she said.

"It's understandable people would have concerns," she said. "Our proposal in Glanbrook does not include any rendering."

Tennier, who during a series of public meetings has stated the company is committed to building a state-of-the-art facility with all of the newest environmental controls, said before the facility is constructed, it will have to receive at least 10 provincial ministry approvals, including from the environment ministry.

"We will be doing everything to address environmental issues," she said.

A committee of the whole meeting will be scheduled at city hall to debate the merits of the land sale.

Although Giacomazza will be making a presentation to councillors, she decried the process as a "farce" since the public doesn't really know what will occur when politicians go in camera to talk about selling the land to the company.

Tennier said Maple Leaf Foods can be trusted to meet its environmental goals. The proof, she said, is the company's action to spend $50 million to upgrade its Rothsay facility.

"Our record speaks for itself in addressing the issues," she said. "This has been a good and strong learning experience."

Rothsay rendering plant fined $682,500 for odour violations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Maple Leaf Foods has agreed in court to pay one of the largest fines in Ontario for odour violations.

Rothsay, owned by Maple Leaf Foods, pled guilty to 18 charges, which included causing adverse odour, discharging excessive amounts of effluent and failing to comply with a provincial order to decommission two of its lagoons.

"It is one of the largest fines for odour," said John Steele, communications spokesperson for the environment ministry.

The ministry had laid 38 charges against Rothsay.

People complaining about the odours reported nausea, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and inability to go outside, said ministry officials.

The company was fined $450,000 for violating odour controls in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The company was fined $232,500 for the remaining 17 charges for a total of $682,500. A 25 per cent victim fine surcharge will be added to the fine, said Steele.

Rothsay recycles animal and poultry by-products, including bones, trim, fat, offal, and feathers.

Anne Tennier of Waterdown, vice-president of environmental and manufacturing services for Maple Leaf Foods, pointed out the incidents occurred before the company spent about $50 million to upgrade Rothsay facility's environmental controls.

"The environmental controls had not been upgraded at the time," she said.

"The fines are the product of long negotiations with the ministry. You hope you don't get fined. We've dealt with the issues."

She said the money spent at Rothsay includes $10 million to improve the rendering equipment, completed in 2002; $11-million for the installation of a biofilter, completed in 2003; and $27 million in improvements to the facility's wastewater treatment.

The new technology, said Tennier, has already resulted in improved environmental conditions. The biofilter has meant a 94 per cent removal of odours from the plant, while the wastewater facility has a 99 per cent compliance rate. "We're still hoping to get it to 100 per cent," she said.

The company though, is facing further odour complaints from an incident this June, said Steele.

Tennier confirmed an "upset" at the wastewater plant, resulted in odour problems over a five-day period.

"We did receive a number of complaints," she said.

Improving the facility's environmental controls is a difficult and costly process, she said.

"It's tougher to improve an older plant, which is about 50 years old," she said.

The fines comes at a sensitive time for Maple Leaf Foods, which is looking to purchase city land to build a pork processing facility.

Eleanor Giacomazza, one of numerous Mountain residents, who has been fighting against Maple Leaf Foods proposal to purchase about 50 acres of city property at the North Glanbrook Industrial Park, says the charges and fines against Maple Leaf Foods should be a wake-up call for councillors to reject the company's application to purchase the land.

"There is no need to rush this decision," she said.

Opponents of the pork processing facility argue the location is too close to a residential neighbourhood.

Maple Leaf Foods officials say odours will be contained within the facility.

Tennier also points out that Rothsay is a rendering plant, which is different than what is being planned for Glanbrook. There will be no rendering operations at the industrial park site, she said.

"It's understandable people would have concerns," she said. "Our proposal in Glanbrook does not include any rendering."

Tennier, who during a series of public meetings has stated the company is committed to building a state-of-the-art facility with all of the newest environmental controls, said before the facility is constructed, it will have to receive at least 10 provincial ministry approvals, including from the environment ministry.

"We will be doing everything to address environmental issues," she said.

A committee of the whole meeting will be scheduled at city hall to debate the merits of the land sale.

Although Giacomazza will be making a presentation to councillors, she decried the process as a "farce" since the public doesn't really know what will occur when politicians go in camera to talk about selling the land to the company.

Tennier said Maple Leaf Foods can be trusted to meet its environmental goals. The proof, she said, is the company's action to spend $50 million to upgrade its Rothsay facility.

"Our record speaks for itself in addressing the issues," she said. "This has been a good and strong learning experience."