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Odour Assessments

Modelling, monitoring and assessment takes the subjectivity out of the perceived dislike of odours.

The perception of and assessment of odour issues is commonly affected by the Frequency, Intensity, Duration, Offensiveness and Location (FIDOL) of a smell.

So, how to you measure something inherently subjective, based on human responses and perceived offensiveness of odours?

Developers, regulators, local authorities and other stakeholders can all be impacted by the issue of odour. Typical challenges exist when a site is constrained due to proximity to an existing odour source, or a new odour source is proposed in proximity to high-sensitivity land-use.

We specialise in producing a number of odour assessment reports that support planning submissions or provide mitigation for existing sites.

Features and benefits of our service include:

  • Reports to support planning submissions.
  • Mitigation and control measures.
  • Modelling to identify issues and disperse odours.
  • Site surveying to understand potential impacts.

What you can expect from our odour specialists

Our approach to odour assessments for planning or permitting includes:

  • Identifying relevant local, regional and national policies
  • Establishing the baseline, including any site-specific complaints history
  • Identifying sensitive receptors
  • Understanding the process and potential odour sources
  • Understanding existing control / mitigation measures
  • Carrying out appropriate predictive and/or observational/empirical odour assessments that take into account the Source-Pathway-Receptor (S-P-R) concept
  • Odour dispersion modelling
  • Site surveying of potential adverse impacts at existing or proposed high-sensitivity land-uses
  • Sniff testing
  • Identifying mitigation and control measures
  • Odour management plans

Our expertise includes:

We use specialist software to deliver odour dispersion modelling to understand odour emissions. This means we can understand the effect of meteorology-based at-source odour emissions and compare against published emissions data. We apply this to sources such as wastewater treatment works and livestock and agricultural facilities.

We use ‘sniff testing’, the acknowledged methodology for in-field odour monitoring. All our air quality specialists have had their odour acuity tested in a laboratory against BSEN 13725:2003 to reference material n-butanal, which demonstrates they are within the ‘normal’ acuity range to undertake ‘sniff tests’.

We deliver objective reports based on a weight-of-evidence approach. This considers a range of observational and empirical odour assessment techniques. Our expertise also includes qualitative odour risk assessments using the source-pathway-receptor concept.

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