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Mandurah Area Odours

Background

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER)* is continuing to investigate transient odours in the Mandurah area and respond to complaints on this matter.

In 2016, DWER carried out early morning odour patrols and inspected 11 licenced facilities in the area with potential to contribute to odour emissions. These included wastewater treatment plants, waste transfer stations, landfills, composting operations and piggeries.

Between April and June 2016, DWER also carried out five odour field surveys in Mandurah and surrounding suburbs to investigate potential odour sources.

Analysis of these surveys identified odour events up to 800 metres from natural sources including Black Swan Lake, Goegrup Lake and sections of the Serpentine River. These natural odours are likely to increase during summer when organic matter breaks down from dried and potentially odorous lake floors or river banks that are exposed to the air and sun.

The surveys also identified three licensed premises which are high-risk sites for odour emissions due to their location within the Mandurah area, proximity to one another and activities carried out onsite. They include a composting facility (C-Wise), a composting facility (Mushroom Exchange) and a piggery (CM Farms).

As a result, DWER has undertaken a risk-based review of the licences of these facilities to determine the appropriateness of controls relating to odour, environmental management and containment infrastructure.

* The former Department of Environment Regulation amalgamated on 1 July 2017 with the Department of Water and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, forming the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

What is happening now?

DWER has amended licences held by C-Wise (L8410), Mushroom Exchange (L7210) and CM Farms (L6932). The amended licences include conditions relating to controls for odour, waste acceptance, storage and management.

The Department considered comments and feedback from all three licence holders regarding the licence amendments.

The amended licences have been published on DWER's website and can be viewed here by searching for the relevant licence number.

The amended licence for CM Farms was appealed under section 102 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The appeal was dismissed by the Minister for Environment on 14 February 2019.

DWER is now working with the Licensees to ensure the conditions of the amended licences are complied with.

DWER is undertaking an odour study in the Mandurah area during the summer and autumn period of 2019. The study is focusing on known odour sources in the area from the 2016 Mandurah Odour Investigation (MOI) performed by the Department. The aim of the study is to confirm known sources from the MOI and to identify any new potential industrial or natural sources of odour in the area. DWER will combine remote sensing advanced equipment and odour monitoring data to better characterise the sources. For industrial sources, findings will be used to identify the major sources and prioritise additional management or controls required to mitigate emissions. A summary of the study results will be published on DWER website by the end of 2019.

Updated 10 April 2019