Independent emissions tests at West Craven aerospace firm

The odour neutralising system installed at Euravia (idling engine)
The odour neutralising system installed at Euravia (idling engine)

KELBROOK residents have welcomed an announcement by Euravia that independent emissions tests are to be carried out on the aerospace firm’s flues.

A special meeting was held at the Colne Road site for residents who had made complaints about the smell when jet engines are running.

Managing Director Dennis Mendoros said as well as the installation of an odour neutraliser, an independent tester had been commissioned to find out exactly what emissions there are and at what levels. He hopes the results will allay residents’ concerns that there are harmful fumes being released into the atmosphere.

Mr Mendoros said: “My commitment is to make sure that we do whatever we can to continue the excellent relations with Kelbrook we have had since we opened in 1994. Over the last couple of years, we have heard the very first complaints but we are not aware of anything happening, or even near to happening, at Euravia that should not be. Nowhere before has jet engine testing been an issue for local residents.”

Public Health Manager Richard Walsh reported to Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee in December that he had no concerns and that an odour neutraliser had been installed at the plant to deal with the fuel smell problems.

The new system (pictured) sprays a special compound over the stack to neutralise the emissions, and not just deodorise them. But residents said a “noxious” smell from the company, which overhauls jet engines, had continued to affect them.

Jackie Dickinson from Pendle Council’s Environmental Health department said complaints had first been received in 2010 but it wasn’t until last summer that a nuisance was witnessed by officers. She said: “A meeting was set up with Mr Mendoros and within a week I was sat round the table discussing the problem. Within two to three weeks they had the first odour control company in. Unfortunately there were problems with different companies who weren’t specialists in this sort of work and it wasn’t successful. The company they have now seem to understand the problem and have installed the neutraliser, which is almost fully operational.

“We did our own monitoring in the same way as we test for traffic pollution. The results were sent to the Health Protection Agency and they were not at all concerned. We have also consulted with the Civil Aviation Authority because we are not experts in this field.”

She commended Euravia for proactively commissioning the independent fumes tests, saying the Environmental Health department would have had no power to enforce such a move.

Residents at the meeting expressed their frustration that they felt they had suffered with the smell for a long time, and wanted to know if there was any danger to their health.

Coun. David Whipp, one of the West Craven Committee members who also attended the meeting, said: “I can recall problems with pollution from local businesses and can go back three decades when standards and the sensitivities of people were quite different from what they are now. We have had to battle with some companies to get them to accept the problem and they have fought every step of the way.

“It is refreshing to hear how Euravia has acted, and people may be frustrated if there wasn’t any action in the early days, but I hope that is something residents can accept. I think the company is now doing as much as it can and is going far beyond what we as a council could have enforced.”

A representative of Kelbrook and Sough Parish Council agreed to act as a medium for residents and said the issue would be kept as an agenda item each month until the results have been analysed and everyone satisfied there is no longer a problem.

Mr Mendoros said: “You have the commitment of the company that we will do whatever it takes. We have no intention to mislead anyone or hide anything.”