Renderers take case against odour controls to Court of Appeal

The UK Renderers Association has been given leave to appeal against a High Court judgement which upheld the Environment Secretary's guidance on air pollution standards for animal rendering plants.

Issued last year under the local air pollution control regime, the guidance laid down tough new controls on odours from rendering works. In particular, it made it clear that offensive odours should not be detectable beyond the site boundary other than in exceptional circumstances, with no more than two escapes of odour emissions being expected in any 12-month period (ENDS Report 302, p 8 ).

The guidance came in the wake of controversies over air pollution control standards for several rendering plants during the 1990s, three of which themselves went to judicial review.

Although the new guidance was weakened at the last minute following legal exchanges between the Government and UKRA, the changes were not enough to dissuade the Association from challenging its lawfulness by way of judicial review.

The case was heard by the High Court on 31 July and determined in the Government's favour. A transcript of the judgement is still awaited.

The controversy is set to continue following the High Court's decision on 7 September to grant leave to UKRA to appeal against the judgement. The Association, which says the Government has been "intransigent" in retaining "onerous clauses that are impractical for renderers to adhere to," has 28 days in which to lodge details of its grounds for appeal.

UKRA secretary general Alan Lawrence commented: "At the same time as lodging an appeal, we will be working towards constructive dialogue with DEFRA. We hope that now, with MAFF and the environmental side of the DETR having joined forces under the DEFRA banner, the Government will develop a better understanding of the issues facing our industry and that, as a consequence, we can work together to improve the environment and safeguard health."

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