1. ITV Report

Battle to end the 'Penrith Pong' continues

Omega Proteins, Penrith Credit: ITV Border

Protesters have reignited their campaign to get rid of the so-called 'Penrith Pong'.

It comes after the Environment Agency investigated the factory, Omega Proteins, last month and found five issues that resulted in an increase in the smell.

Residents in and around Penrith have been fighting to bring an end to the 'vile' odour that has plagued the town for generations.

Residents stand outside Penrith town hall to protest the 'Penrith Pong', 1990. Credit: Border Television

The factory responsible for the bad smell is located on the outskirts of the town.

It's an animal rendering facility which processes products from abattoirs and meat-processing plants to produce oils and meals for use in biofuels, cosmetics, oleo, pet food and power industries.

Almost 400 people have signed an online petition to block future planning applications to expand the factory.

Jeff Thomsonn started the petition:

The Environment Agency informed Penrith residents that Omega Proteins had investigated the smell and its source and found five potential issues:

  • Problems with oxidisers that treat the smell.
  • Refurbishment of bio-filters.
  • Power outages.
  • Material waiting to be processed.
  • Cracks in the walls that allowed the odour to escape.

The plant's owner said they are now addressing the problem.

In the last two years, we have invested more than £30m in our Penrith plant, which includes the installation of a new multi-fuel oxidiser.

We have upgraded machinery, added a new office block, a covered trailer shed, and have plans for a separate trailer washing facility, the last two of which will, again, help reduce the potential for odours from the site.

"We work very closely with our EA colleagues, and as soon as we are aware of any odour issues, we act quickly to identify the cause."

– Leo Group, which owns and operates Omega Proteins.