The new scrubber at the Oceana fish meal factory in the harbour was put in place last week.
Last year Oceana committed to upgrading its chemical filtration system following a litany of complaints about the smell emanating from the factory. The full scrubber system is expected to be installed by the end of June.
However, Kiara Worth, founder of Fresh Air Hout Bay (FAHB), which has campaigning to have the smell completely eradicated, is not convinced that the scrubber will have any major impact.
“While the installation of the scrubber indicates that some measures are being taken, at this stage we have no reason to believe scrubbers will make a significant difference to the odour pollution experienced by the community,” Ms Worth said.
“Oceana has repeatedly stated that no technology can get rid of the odour and there is no evidence to suggest this will be any different. It is also interesting to note that while these developments are taking place, Oceana has actively denied the public access to the controversial health risk assessment conducted in 2016.”
She said FAHB had been trying to access the document through the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) process for several months and had recently been informed that their request was denied due to “refusal by the third party”, in this case Oceana.
“It is extremely disappointing to see this level of continued avoidance for such an important issue in our community.”
In March, JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services, said industrial emissions had the potential to be hazardous to human health, but the hazard was “diminished over space and time with distance from source” (“Harmful or not?”, Sentinel, March 31). He said with distance, the pollutants had time to dilute and disperse.
The Sentinel requested comment from Oceana through representative Dayne Stern, but none had been received at the time of going to press.