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Disentangling the frequency and intensity dimensions of nuisance odour, and implications for jurisdictional odour impact criteria

Griffiths, K.D. (2014) Disentangling the frequency and intensity dimensions of nuisance odour, and implications for jurisdictional odour impact criteria. Atmospheric Environment, 90 . pp. 125-132.

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Many jurisdictions compare model predicted odour concentration statistics against regulatory exposure limits or criteria in order to assess the risk of proposed developments resulting in nuisance odour impacts. However dose response studies designed to calibrate such criteria have returned widely divergent findings, particularly regarding the degree of influence that the frequency and intensity of odour impact events have on adverse community response (annoyance). In the absence of clear guidance from empirical data, jurisdictions have adopted a wide range of odour impact criteria and harmonisation has proven difficult to progress. This lack of harmonisation constitutes a significant gap in best-practice standards for odour impact assessment methodology and creates a substantial risk of poor assessment outcomes.

In this paper a conceptual framework is developed which facilitates close investigation of the relationship between annoyance levels, the frequency and intensity dimensions of nuisance odour and exposure criteria. Within this framework the efficacy of single-percentile odour criteria to limit nuisance odour impacts is examined for several models of annoyance. Significant short-comings in single-percentile criteria are identified in those models in which both the frequency and intensity of impact events are assumed to influence annoyance on time-scales such as a year. The merits and limitations of an alternative multi-percentile criterion framework approach are examined. Models of annoyance developed within the framework suggest an improved concept of odour criteria that may lead to better assessment outcomes, assist with the reconciliation of some seemingly disparate dose response study findings and aid harmonisation of jurisdictional exposure limits.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2014 The Author.
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