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Odour Assessment

The problem of odour nuisance has a long history. In 1611 an English Court affirmed the granting of an injunction and damages to the plaintiff upon showing that the defendant had built a “hogstye so near the house of the plaintiff that the air thereof was corrupted”.

The assessment and management of odours is as important and challenging today as it was in 1611 and is an integral aspect of environmental management. Increasingly, communities and regulators require that the impacts of odour-generating activities are properly controlled to the extent that they do not interfere with expectations about environmental quality.


Experienced odour consultants can save any operation money in the long run and maximise efficiency.

Does my facility need an Odour Assessment?

Odour can be a concern for any facility or operation with environmental emissions. Due to increasing community expectations; odour management should be a primary consideration for existing, expanding or new operations due to the potential of nuisance issues. A sound approach to odour assessment, management and mitigation significantly reduces the risk of regulatory action and/or negative community perception.

Experienced odour consultants in the design or operation stage can save money in the long run and as an added benefit often maximises operational efficiency.

Odour assessments are often required for:

  • Proposed new odorous facilities – Without an odour assessment, the proposed operations may not be approved or may be approved with conditions which it can’t meet.
  • Expanding facilities – Odour assessment maybe required to demonstrate compliance against guidelines for existing and any proposed operations.
  • Complaints situations – Without proper response to complaints facilities may lose their “social licence” to operate, be fined or lose their ability to operate if violating license conditions.

Effective Odour Consulting

Odour consulting provides a number of solutions for facilities with potential odour issues:

Odour impact assessments can include monitoring and modelling of the proposed, existing or expanding facility to assess compliance against the relevant regulatory guidelines.

Data can be collected through on site sampling or offsite field observations. Odour surveys can also be completed to assess impacts from existing facilities on surrounding communities.

The outcomes of an assessment show the impacts on the surrounding community of the proposed, existing or expanding facility. This allows an operation to plan ahead, save on costs and maximise efficiency.

Services Offered:

  • Odour impact assessment
  • Odour modelling
  • Expert witness services
  • Site specific odour monitoring
  • Odour field surveys
  • Review of and advice on license conditions
  • Assessment of odour mitigation options

Pacific Environment’s team of odour experts is recognised for their achievements in both Australia and internationally. Each of our odour consultants have at least 10 years (odour significant) experience in the field. This odour focussed experience enables us to focus on key issues and identify the best overall solutions for our clients.

Our odour consulting team has completed hundreds of odour assessments in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. We have assessed a variety of sectors ranging from large refineries through to beef cattle feedlots.

FIDOL – 5 Factors determining potential for annoyance and complaints

Analysis of community odour exposure has identified five factors that are important in determining the potential for annoyance and complaint:

  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Duration
  • Offensiveness, and 
  • Location

These are together called the FIDOL factors (NZ Ministry for Environment, 1995).  Generally, it is thought that the greater the frequency, intensity, duration and offensiveness of an odour in a sensitive location the more likely it is to cause annoyance and lead to complaints.

These so called FIDOL factors are not easy to quantify individually, let alone when they interact. It is therefore not possible to develop criteria that set a “pass” or “fail” benchmark for air dispersion model odour estimates, rather guidance can be derived from the estimates on likely impacts which can then be further refined through consideration of such things as the observed impacts of similar facilities, the sensitivity of the receiving community and “offensiveness” of the odours likely to be emitted.


Connect with our Odour Consultants today to improve your environmental performance.

small-phone-icon +61 2 9870 0950

small-email-icon  enquiries@pacific-environment.com