Guidelines for community odour assessment
This project has been partially funded under the Ministry for the Environment's Sustainable Management Fund and contributes towards maintaining air quality in New Zealand. The management of effects of odour-producing activities has been limited to some degree by the fact that firm guidelines for gathering complaints had not been developed and that the international air quality regulatory community appeared to have been slow to develop standardised procedures for carrying out odour surveys and for determining overall community response to actual or perceived odour problems. In other words, there has been a need for procedures with which to collect subjective information using recognised objective approaches. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on a range of standardised techniques that can be used to establish when community odour problems exist and the magnitude of the problem. The guidelines focus on sociological and associated methods of community odour assessment and provide means by which local authority officers or the operators of odour producing facilities can investigate whether facilities are causing adverse effects (in terms of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA)) or nuisance or offensiveness (in terms of the Health Act 1956). The odour assessment techniques proposed were identified through consultation with the tangata whenua and the National Air Quality Working Group, a review of the relevant international literature, a survey of local authority staff and interviews with people in communities where odour is a problem. Guidelines are provided for: 1) community surveys (questioning on one occasion); 2)odour diaries; 3) community odour panels (questioning on several occasions); 4) public meetings; 5) working parties; 6) consultation with the tangata whenua; 7) community consultation. We have assumed two broad situations in which the techniques might be used. One is for internal monitoring purposes where the organisation does not intend to use the data collected in legal proceedings. In this instance the guidelines can serve as a guide to good practice. The second situation where information could be or is expected to be presented as evidence in legal proceedings. In this latter instance it is important that a recognised expert in question and sample design and data analysis be engaged to ensure that the evidence meets the requirements for admissibility.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research0502 Environmental Science and Management
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