The EPA has denied it is responsible for the partial closure of the former Sunnybrand chicken-processing factory in Byron Bay and says that the company knew of the problems when it bought out the previous owners.
The company announced 80 job losses on Monday, following processing cutbacks of 100,000 birds a week, which it claimed was because of EPA limits on its wastewater emissions.
But EPA north coast manager Brett Nudd said they discussed the issue of wastewater prior to the purchase and have been continuing to do so. He says there are various options for remedying the problem, varying in cost, and denies the company is under pressure from the EPA or facing any fines.
He told ABC radio this morning, ‘The EPA is more than willing to talk to the company about the terms of the wastewater upgrade and the requirements and is happy to work constructively to try to address those issues.’
He added that the EPA has worked with many businesses to achieve its desired environmental results ‘within the financial constraints of any given operation’.