The Municipality of North Cowichan is sending a letter to the province with regard to the odours in the Chemainus area.

The source of the odour is Coast Environmental, a company that deals with the treatment of soil, recycling, composting, and wastewater.

Council looked for the best course of action moving forward and Mayor Jon Lefebure says regulating excessive odour is very challenging.

The municipality has received many complaints from area residents about the horrible smell coming from Coast Environmental in Chemainus.

All facilities that process more than five thousand tonnes of compost on an annual basis need to get a regulation permit from the province and Coast Environmental is in the process of receiving that Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (O.M.R.R.) permit.

Lefebure says the Ministry of Environment permit may or may not deal with odour-related issues.

The Fisher Road recycling facility has already applied for an O.M.R.R. permit and hasn’t heard back from the province, so this process isn’t going to be a short one.

Chief Administrative Officer, Ted Swabey says addressing this issue on the local level can go in one of three ways.

You can downsize the operation, relocate the business, or find ways to shut it down. However, North Cowichan doesn’t have the power to shut down a business.

Councillor, Maeve Maguire says “the site that I saw is exceptional and they continue to make improvements.”

Maguire acknowledges that the issues are serious for area residents.