May 9, 2005

Revised odour criteria, policy proposed

As part of its commitment to establishing effects-based air standards, the Ministry of Environment is proposing revisions to its Ambient Air Quality Criteria (AAQC) to address odours, as well as the development of an odour policy framework.

The AAQC do not currently address odorous mixtures which may be made up of several individual odorous substances or groups of substances. In particular, odorous emissions from industrial facilities may comprise a large number of individual odorous substances which together may increase the odour impacts. Consequently, the AAQC alone may not be adequate to deal with odour issues.

The framework which the MOE is proposing to develop would reconcile existing and proposed AAQC, would provide for the use of predictive odour impacts and direct measurements, and would be able to deal with a situation in which odours become an issue. While the Ministry would still set odour-based AAQC for substances with low odour thresholds, such as sulfur-based compounds, he framework could set limits for other, less odorous substances or mixtures of substances, providing indications of possible odour impacts and providing new tools for assessing these impacts. Comments are due by June 4, 2005.

Registry reference No PA05E0007.

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