Summary and Overview of the Odour Regulations Worldwide

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Bokowa, Anna
Diaz, Carlos
Koziel, Jacek
McGinley, Michael
Koziel, Jacek
Barclay, Jennifer
Schauberger, Günther
Guillot, Jean-Michel
Sneath, Robert
Capelli, Laura
Zorich, Vania
Izquierdo, Cyntia
Bilsen, Ilse
Romain, Anne-Claude
del Carmen Cabeza, Maria
Liu, Dezhao
Both, Ralf
Van Belois, Hugo
Higuchi, Takaya
Wahe, Landon
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Food Science and Human NutritionCivil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringEnvironmental ScienceToxicology

When it comes to air pollution complaints, odours are often the most significant contributor. Sources of odour emissions range from natural to anthropogenic. Mitigation of odour can be challenging, multifaceted, site-specific, and is often confounded by its complexity—defined by existing (or non-existing) environmental laws, public ordinances, and socio-economic considerations. The objective of this paper is to review and summarise odour legislation in selected European countries (France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium), North America (the USA and Canada), and South America (Chile and Colombia), as well as Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) and Asia (Japan, China). Many countries have incorporated odour controls into their legislation. However, odour-related assessment criteria tend to be highly variable between countries, individual states, provinces, and even counties and towns. Legislation ranges from (1) no specific mention in environmental legislation that regulates pollutants which are known to have an odour impact to (2) extensive details about odour source testing, odour dispersion modelling, ambient odour monitoring, (3) setback distances, (4) process operations, and (5) odour control technologies and procedures. Agricultural operations are one specific source of odour emissions in rural and suburban areas and a model example of such complexities. Management of agricultural odour emissions is important because of the dense consolidation of animal feeding operations and the advance of housing development into rural areas. Overall, there is a need for continued survey, review, development, and adjustment of odour legislation that considers sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and socio-economic realities, all of which are amenable to a just, site-specific, and sector-specific application.


This article is published as Anna Bokowa, Carlos Diaz, Jacek A. Koziel, Michael McGinley, Jennifer Barclay, Günther Schauberger, Jean-Michel Guillot, Robert Sneath, Laura Capelli, Vania Zorich, Cyntia Izquierdo, Ilse Bilsen, Anne-Claude Romain, Maria del Carmen Cabeza, Dezhao Liu, Ralf Both, Hugo Van Belois, Takaya Higuchi, and Landon Wahe. "Summary and Overview of the Odour Regulations Worldwide." Atmosphere 12, no. 2 (2021): 206. DOI: 10.3390/atmos12020206. Posted with permission.