The Rutherford community and local small businesses can rest a little easier this week after the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released data which shows the number of complaints regarding the ‘Rutherford Stink’ has dropped significantly over the last 12 months.
The release of the Rutherford Odour Investigation Project Update No. 3 is a significant win for the western suburbs of Maitland who have endured serious odour issues for a number of decades.
Over the last 18 months the Member for Maitland Ms Jenny Aitchison has worked with members of the community and local businesses to raise awareness of the health issues attributed to the odour issues.
Ms Aitchison conducted a survey, and collated the data before making representations to the Minister for Health and the Minister for the Environment. Ms Aitchison has continued to work with local representatives of the EPA and Hunter Water to address the issue.
Action by the EPA including the suspension of Environment Protection Licences, implementation of more stringent pollution control equipment and an increase in the level of inspections and surveillance of businesses in Rutherford area has been credited with the decrease in the number of odour complaints.
The report shows a decrease in the number of Rutherford odour complaints reported to the EPA’s Environment Line, from Winter 2015 to June 2016. The Rutherford Odour Investigation Project Update No. 3 can be accessed here
Quotes attributable to the Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison:
“This is a terrific win for the Rutherford community.
“Last year I was inundated with complaints from residents who were sick and tired of the lack of Government interest in the Rutherford Stink, and the failure of the Government to address health and safety concerns of residents and small businesses.
“By working with all members of the community and local businesses we have been able to get a positive resolution to this issue.
“I thank everyone who filled in the survey and made reports to the EPA. It is good to know their persistent vigilance has made a difference.
“I offer my congratulations and thanks to local staff from the EPA and Hunter Water for their response to these issues over the last 12 months.
“Their ongoing willingness to work with the Rutherford community, local businesses and myself to reduce pollution shows the success we can achieve for our community when we all work together.”
To view the original release click here