Many industrial-, mining- and complex developments and associated activities can influence ambient air quality and more specifically, an influence on the ambient odour profile. An important consideration is made to the impacts from potential odour sources during project planning and permitting environmental processes. Odour nuisance is an ever-increasing concern and air quality professionals are frequently requested to assess these conditions or potential impacts through Odour Assessments and the compilation of Odour Management Plans.
An odour is defined as a mixture of chemical compound interactions producing a definitive “smell” perceived as a nuisance or unpleasant. When proposed or existing developments produce nuisance or offensive odours, an Odour Assessment and Odour Management Plan is conducted and compiled to identify impacts and provide mitigation measures to possible odour pollution.

Assessments to determine the possibility of odour emissions from sources in the direct vicinity of the specified development is implemented through either predictive tools or secondary testing (Sniff Testing – Field Olfactometry).

Sensory testing techniques use the human nose by “sniff testing” as analytical sensing through a panel of independent assessors. The panel assesses the annoyance with the use of a custom rating criteria remaining confidential to their own ratings. A scent refresher is utilised between the specified localities and time-frame assessments (morning, mid-afternoon and late afternoon). The olfactometric results are quantified inclusive of climatological data, air quality data and relevant interviews with community representatives for final data processing, mapping and modelling to identify the odour intensity, frequency, sensitivity and exposure impacts.

Although predictive tools (assisting instruments) are also implemented during the methodology, a sound analytical instrument approach to provide unified measure and quantification is not currently available and thus secondary testing is considered robust and reproducible through implementation of a well-designed, rigorous methodology.

Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd. (ENVASS) offers a wide range of Compliance Monitoring services, to ensure social, regulatory and environmental compliance. All fieldwork is conducted by experienced environmental consultants and scientist, trained in the relevant methods of assessment. If you may require a proposal for services please do not hesitate to contact our highly qualified and experienced specialists at ENVASS on 012 460 9768 or info@envass.co.za

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