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Southwest Environmental Limited
Level 26, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

0283137132

Environmental Consultancy Services to Industry, Business and Individuals

Odour Impact Assessment

Odours are ranked as the main generators of public complaints by regulatory agencies in Europe, North America, and Australia.

'Air Quality Regulations and Odour Management in Australia and New Zealand' provides a summary of the standards and air pollution legislation existing in Australia.  Odorous emissions from waste treatment and management and intensive livestock operations often cause annoyance to local receptors, impacting quality of life, resulting in public complaints for regulatory agencies that require appropriate management responses. Within communities, there is often a large range of reactions to odorous emissions. On the one hand there are receptors that are very sensitive to specific odours (i.e. highly odour-sensitive) and will react very strongly to odours that are barely noticeable by the majority of the population. On the other hand there are other receptors within a population (often because of their association with the odour-generating activity) who are more tolerant to these odour annoyances.

Below are limits set in various states:

 Queensland

0.5 OU for tall stacks

2.5 OU for ground level sources and down washed plumes from short stacks. These criteria have been developed based on a 5 OU short term impact and have been translated to a one hour averaging time using a peak-to-mean ratio of 10:1 for tall stacks and 2:1 for other sources 1-hour average, 99.5% percentile

New South Wales

Individual odorous pollutants In the case of hydrogen sulfide

South Australia

2 OU (2000 people or more); 4 OU (350-1999 people); 6 OU (60-349 people); 8 OU (12-59 people); 10 OU (less than twelve people)

Victoria

Offensive odours must not be discharged beyond the boundaries of the premises

Western Australia

2 OU or 4 OU

Odorous emissions from anthropic activities often cause annoyance to local receptors, impacting community quality of life, resulting in public complaints for regulatory agencies that require appropriate management responses. A major challenge for regulatory agencies is to provide community protection from offensive odours without unfairly disadvantaging odour-emitting industries that communities often rely on for their economic prosperity