HMIP fails with odour case against chemical company

A chemical company which has been causing an odour nuisance in a Hertfordshire town for well over a decade has survived a prosecution brought by HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) following another odour incident. The outcome suggests that the Inspectorate needs to tighten up its approach to obtaining evidence for legal proceedings.

The business concerned was owned by Perloplast until 1984, when it was acquired by its present owner, Du Vergier. The company recovers methyl methacrylate (MMA) from polymer scrap at a site in Hoddesdon.

The site has several reactors in which solid scrap is heated to drive off MMA as vapour, which is then condensed and redistilled. These operations, as well as MMA transfers, all have the potential to cause a severe odour nuisance without

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