Some 40% of odour complaints to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to food and drink processing activities.

According to the Licensed Sites Report on Air Emissions 2014, the EPA received 788 complaints in relation to odour from licensed sites.

Some 10 individual sites accounted for nearly 70% of the odour complaints, the EPA said and Arrow Group, the meat processor owned by the Queally Brothers topped the list of odour and noise complaints with 84 complaints.

The overall number of complaints though is down on the amount of complaints in 2013, which was 130.

Irish Country Meats (ICM) was fined €10,439.29 last year by the EPA for odour complaints.

College Proteins Ltd. in Co. Meath was the sixth worst offender when it came to odour complaints. In 2014, the animal protein specialists received 55 complaints for odour, down four from the 2013 figure.

Dawn Meats Ireland (trading as Dawn Charleville) saw a jump in the number of complaints in 2014 – up from the year previous from three to 44.

Outside of the top 10, Anglo Beef Processors trading as ABP Proteins in Co. Waterford, received 29 complaints in 2014, up 20 from the nine complaints the EPA received about it for odour in 2013.

Some 80% of all noise complaints related to five sites which included Rosderra Irish Meats Group in Edenderry Co. Offaly, Arrabawn Co-op Society Ltd and Arrow Group.

Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Limited also featured in the report with two EPA Compliance Investigations undertaken in 2014.

Commenting on the report, Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said that people living near industrial and waste sites should not be exposed to nuisance odour or noise.

“Historically, waste management activities were the dominant source of odour complaints received by the EPA.

“However, the Food and Drink sector now accounts for 40% of all odour complaints and 64% of all noise complaints.

“The EPA will continue to use enforcement powers to bring the operators of these facilities into line and ensure they improve their environmental performance and achieve compliance with their licence requirements,” he said.