UPDATE: Food plant responds to ‘odour’ in Burlington

Published October 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm

The City of Burlington issued a media release Tuesday afternoon, addressing complaints from residents in the Harvest and Appleby area about “an odour” emitting from the Sofina Foods plants.

The City of Burlington issued a media release Tuesday afternoon, addressing complaints from residents in the Harvest and Appleby area about “an odour” emitting from the Sofina Foods plants.

The City said they have reached out to Sofina Foods, as well as the Ministry of Environment, and Conservation and Parks to find a resolution to this issue.

Sofina Foods said they are investigating the origins after receiving the following notice from Ministry of Environment and Conservation and Parks on Oct. 11: “The order requires the company to remove waste sludge from the property within three hours of filling a tanker trailer. We believe this is action that can be taken quickly to improve odours from the site.”

Ministry staff say that have been to the property on several occasions to look into the sources of odours and to discuss actions the company is taking to control odours.

“The order is an immediate measure to deal with one source of odours from the site,” says City of Burlington staff. “There are other sources of odours at the property, and the company has hired a consulting firm to assess sources of odours at the site. The ministry will continue to monitor the company’s actions and require it to identify and address its sources of odours.”

“Although the City of Burlington has no jurisdiction in the case of Sofina’s operations, members of Council and staff, including the Ward Councillor Paul Sharman, continue to be engaged in finding the cause of the odour and a speedy resolution.”

Residents are encouraged to report any odour near the area immediately to Sofina Foods at (289) 834-3543, reporting the time and location of the odour directly to Sofina will assist in their investigation.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will also continue to respond to complaints about odours, residents may also report odour problems as soon as possible to the ministry by calling the ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060, which is open 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

UPDATE (Oct. 17, 2019): Sofina Foods Inc. has issued a response to our original story posted Oct. 16, 2019.

Sofina Foods Inc. takes its environmental stewardship very seriously and has investigated the complaints received with extreme diligence. This has been a priority for us. As soon as we became aware of the issue, we created an action team who has already taken a number of measures listed below to mitigate all possible contributing factors.

One possible source was identified and mitigated so the unusual odour should have now disappeared. Sofina is thankful for everyone’s patience and remains fully committed to resolving this issue as quickly as possible as we continue working on other possible sources.

We worked with our suppliers to accelerate the removal of process by-product sludge from our yard. We also conduct regular visual and sensory checks as part of our site maintenance, to ensure any potential residual odour is managed in a timely manner.

Since we acquired the facility, and in keeping with Sofina Foods’ continuous improvement mindset, we have committed to and conducted a number of improvements. We maintain this commitment and have retained the services of an environmental consulting firm whose mandate is to help us identify further opportunities to mitigate such situations.

We have created a dedicated email address that we encourage residents to use any time to report any odour issue. Important details to include when reporting the issue include the time and date the odour was noticed and the location. The address is [email protected].

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