Co-ordinated effort to identify smell

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Aberdeenshire Council’s environmental health team is to co-ordinate an investigation into a mystery smell in Portlethen.

Following growing complaints from residents about the odour, a public meeting was held at Portlethen Academy last Thursday to discuss the issue.

The meeting heard that along with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Water, council environmental health officers have recently undertaken joint visits to the area.

Scottish Water has also surveyed parts of the sewage network in the Cookston Road area as part of the probe to determine the source.

A representative from the local meat processing plant, McIntosh Donald, presented the firm’s current position and stressed the company wants to be a good neighbour.

Site manager Craig Anderson outlined work they undertake in line with their Pollution Prevention and Control permit issued by SEPA.

He highlighted that effluent is also regularly tested by Scottish Water.

SEPA are the enforcing authority for emissions from the factory and the council’s environmental health team has responsibility for potential sources outwith the factory boundary.

While the source of the odour remains unclear, the local authority says it will endeavour to support partner agencies in their investigations and will provide regular updates to the community council.

Residents were reminded at the meeting to report any foul odours when they occur, so that relevant officials can visit the scene to witness it and investigate.

All agencies involved in the meeting pledged to work together to assist local residents.