The Environment Agency said it expects the company running a controversial factory in Penrith to ‘take action to address issues quickly’ regarding the so-called Penrith Pong.

The Omega Proteins factory in Penrith, run by Leo Group, renders animal carcasses to create various products.

Over the last few years, the ‘pong’ has permeated the Eden town regularly, with the source factory being the subject of hundreds of odour complaints received by the Environment Agency.

In a newsletter released earlier this month, they acknowledged Omega’s improvements designed to minimise odour implemented over that period and added: “Over the last six months we have had a period of high levels of odour complaints.

“In February of this year, we had 103 reports made through to our incident hotline, more recently in May we had 114 reports and an escalation in June of 223 reports of odour.

“So far in July we have had 73.

“For the last few weeks, we have had officers attending the local area of the Omega Proteins site, whether or not we have received reports of odour.

“We have looked at the times reports are made to us and looked to see if specific weather conditions play a part.

“This has helped us target our monitoring.

“We have confirmed odour originating from the Omega Proteins site on some of these visits in the local community.

“We are investigating the source of these odours on site and will expect the company to take action to address issues quickly.

“As we have said previously there are details that we cannot fully share as this could prejudice any regulatory activity or enforcement action we may take in the future, however, we will try to share as much as we can when there is more information.

“We will also be encouraging Omega Proteins to share as much information as they can.”

In response, a spokesperson from Omega Proteins said: “Our technical and environmental teams are currently investigating these sporadic incidents.

“We would like to assure the public that we are working tirelessly alongside the Environment Agency to establish any potential causes, both on-site and in our surrounding locality.

“However, while this investigation is ongoing, the company cannot comment further to avoid the spread of misinformation.”