By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – In a joint press release issued Wednesday evening, Champion Petfoods and the Town of Morinville announced they had found some common ground on odour mitigation.
In consideration for Champion staying the course on odour mitigation efforts, the Town will wave $5,400 in tickets Champion has been issued thus far.
“Champion is headed in the right direction on odour mitigation,” said Debbie Oyarzun, Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer in the release. “Champion has agreed to stay the course, and the Town has agreed to stay the previously issued tickets. My belief is that Champion is determined to continue to build on its success to mitigate odour within our community, and we are committed to work with Morinville businesses.”
Champion says it remains committed to continually improving its cooking process and is working together with the Town to align the company’s cooking schedules with community events. Additionally, the company said it is committed to sharing information on odour causes and complaints.
“Champion will work with the Town to endeavour to align cooking schedules with community special events and holidays based on an annual calendar,” said Frank Burdzy, Champion’s President and CEO in an e-mail interview with Morinville News. “In the circumstance of any unscheduled special events which may fall outside the known annual calendar, the Town and Champion will work together to employ best efforts to manage cooking schedules in order to reduce the risk of odour impacting that event.”
Burdzy went on to say the scheduling would take time as Champion schedules months in advance. As a major sponsor of many of Morinville’s community events, Burdzy said Champion was acutely aware of upcoming festivals and want to ensure these events are a huge success.
The Morinville manufacturer has implemented a number of systems and improvements since June of 2010 when it first installed a $500,000 plasma injector that was supposed to neutralize the cooking odours. Since that time, the company has converted from what was a feedlot to a modern commercial kitchen operation. The most recent odour mitigation addition was a new high tech emissions chimney that was installed last June.
Burdzy said the company is pleased with the results thus far. “We’re satisfied most of the time and will continue to be relentless in mitigating odour,” he said. “We have spent millions reducing the intensity, frequency, and duration of odour. We have invested in a new high-tech chimney, oven upgrades, and a complete refurbishing of our internal air-flow system.”
The Champion president went on to say they know odour levels may be more intense under weather and wind conditions; however, they committed to have the intensity, frequency, and duration less than in the past. “We continue to employ the services of global odour management experts to enhance our mitigation processes,” Burdzy said.
The agreement to stay the previous $5,400 in fines in exchange for Champion staying the course on dealing with odour does not restrict the Town of Morinville’s ability to take future action or Champion’s ability to defend those actions.