The 27th of August 2020 took place the first of 12 monthly meetings that are going to led to

the first international handbook on the assessment of odour exposure by using dispersion modelling

There are many initiatives related to dispersion modelling worldwide but there is no specific guideline for odour modelling.  Modelling odours is complex and many of the guidelines on modelling published around the world fall short in treating this vector.

To date, there are already 52 professionals from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, United Kingdom, USA and Qatar participating in this initiative. The group is quite heterogeneous as it is formed by scientists, consultants, representatives of public administrations and other stakeholders.

This is an initiative promoted by the Environmental International Society of Odour Managers and the website and it is led by the well-known experts Mr. Günther Schauberger and Ms. Jennifer Barclay.

Modelling odours often requires to forget about traditional dispersion modelling operating modes and to focus on exposure. Odours are perceived in seconds or minutes, not hours and this is key in calculating its impact on ambient air. Most odour incidents are generated during calm or very low wind speeds which do not facilitate the dispersion of an odour and that makes modelling challenging. Last, but not least, there is a need to investigate the role of Instrumental Odour Monitoring Systems (IOMS) on the evaluation of model performance.

Volunteers meet once per month via teleconference while the special task groups, of which there are 6 also meet every month. Each task group has between 5 and 10 members who are responsible for writing and reviewing individual sections within each task group. The task groups are as follows:

  • TG1 - Definitions
  • TG2 - Meteorology
  • TG3 - Emissions and Source characterization
  • TG4 - Dispersion Algorithms
  • TG5 - Dose response
  • TG6 - Reporting

Each task group is guided by a set of principal themes which are central to the document, and are as follows:
  • The resulting document will be a handbook rather than a guideline.  This is to prevent conflict with those jurisdictions\states\countries that already have guidelines and regulations
  • The document is to be of benefit for jurisdictions\states\countries that have strict odour regulations and for those who are just beginning to consider odour legislation
  • Rather than focus on any individual model and country how they apply odour regulation, the focus of attention will be on the parameters themselves
  • Valid, workable references are a key component of the document which will include live links wherever possible
  • Individual task groups will focus on the pros and cons of key subject areas.  It is not the handbook intent to disregard any existing regulations.  There are many countries with advanced odour legislation that is outdated, and it can take a long time for new guidelines to progress
  • The handbook will be forward-looking making the best use of the experts’ experience as well as recognizing that changing regulations can take a long time

Volunteers are always more than welcome in this group, that it is expecting to have the first draft of the handbook after these 12 meetings. Interested may contact the Environmental International Society of Odour Managers, or the website