Odour Management Plans (OMP)

Odour Management Plans (OMP) are a critical component for ensuring regulatory compliance, protecting human health, the environment including local wildlife and maintaining community relations. 

Odour management is an essential part of the overall environmental control for any businesses involved in industries or processes where odours can become a significant concern.

This article will explain the importance of OMPs, why they’re important, when they are necessary and how your business can implement effective strategies to comply with UK regulations and reduce your overall impact on the local environment.

Odour Management Plans (OMP) Consultancy Support and Services ECL

What Is An Odour Management Plan?

An Odour Management Plan is a comprehensive document that outlines procedures and strategies to identify, control, and mitigate odours produced by industrial activities.

The goal of Odour Management Plans is to minimise the impact of odours on the surrounding environment and communities.

It includes monitoring protocols, preventive measures, and corrective actions designed to manage Odour Emissions effectively.


Why Is Odour Management Important?

Effective Odour Management is crucial for several reasons. From the overall protection of the environment to aid in the reduction of damage to local wildlife and ecosystems to ensuring that worker health and safety is maintained.

The persistent exposure to harmful or unpleasant odours can negatively affect your employees health and morale while also potentially leading to an overall decrease in productivity.

Uncontrolled odours can also lead to complaints from residents in the local area and damage your company’s reputation, which can lead to potential future conflicts.

Not to mention the importance of maintaining regulatory compliance. Businesses in the UK must adhere to the strict environmental regulations, such as those set out by The Environment Agency regarding odour emissions. Not complying with these regulations can lead to potential legal action and fines.


What Activities Are Likely To Give Rise To Odour?  

There are numerous industries and activities that are known to generate significant odours and are likely to require an Odour Management Plan. They include:

  • Abattoirs
  • Anaerobic digestion facilities
  • Chemical and solvent production factories
  • Composting facilities
  • Food, dairies, milk, fish and drink manufacturers
  • Industrial processes
  • Livestock farms, slaughterhouses, manure storage, animal by-products and edible co-products
  • Pharmaceutical processes
  • Sewage treatment and waste water facilities
  • Wastewater/ effluent treatment facilities
  • Waste management, storage, treatment, incineration and the disposal of waste including landfill sites which are likely to involve waste that are malodourous in nature, including municipal wastes, food wastes and healthcare wastes


Odour Management Plan OMP Chart ECL

When Is An Odour Management Plan Needed?  

In England and Wales, the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations require the control of pollution which includes odour.

When planning a new commercial or industrial development, an OMP is essential to address potential odour issues proactively.

An Odour Management Plan may also be required as part of Environmental Permit Applications if the risk of odour from the proposed activities is considered significant following completion of an Environmental Risk Assessment.  

Environmental Permits will include a permit condition which states:  

“Emissions from the activities shall be free from odour at levels likely to cause pollution outside the site, as perceived by an authorised officer of the Environment Agency / Natural Resources Wales, unless the operator has used appropriate measures, including, but not limited to, those specified in any approved odour management plan, to prevent or where that is not practicable to minimise odour.”  

Odour Management Plans can sometimes be requested for approval during operation of the environmental permit if you are notified by the regulator that the activities are giving rise to pollution outside the site due to odour.  

An OMP will need to be embedded into your Environmental Management System.  

In Scotland, the Scottish Protection Agency (“SEPA”) have the power to regulate activities which cause offensive odours if they are subject to existing regulatory controls such as the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations.  

Within a SEPA Environmental Permit, under Nuisance, it will state: 

“Measures must be taken to prevent, or where that is not practicable, minimise (a) odour arising from the authorised activities. Offensive odours from the authorised activities as perceived by a SEPA officer must not be emitted beyond the boundary of the authorised place.” 

If a business receives multiple odour complaints from local residents, an Odour Management Plan can also help address and resolve any issues effectively.


UK Odour Management Plan Requirements

Odour Management Plans must follow regulatory guidance documents, such as the Environment Agency’s H4 Odour Management Plan Guidance (also adopted by Natural Resources Wales), the EA’s Odour Management Plan Template and SEPA’s Odour Guidance

The OMP must also include the Best Available Techniques (“BAT”) for the specific industry as outlined in the appropriate Best Available Techniques Reference Document (“Bref”) and/or the EA’s online appropriate measures.  

An effective Odour Management Plan should include the following: 

  • Potential Odour Sources, Pathways and Receptors – Assessing the level of odour pollution potential. This includes identifying potentially sensitive receptors and detailing each activity undertaken at the site and the associated odour risk level.  
  • Mitigation and Control Detail of control measures to prevent and reduce odour, such as, source material control, process control and staff competency / training.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance – Sniff Testing, Dispersion Modelling, Odour Diaries, Environmental Impact Assessments and Odour Monitoring.
  • Abnormal/Emergency Operations – Details of contingency measures.
  • Complaint Procedure A response plan to engage with neighbours and responding to odour complaints.
  • Records and Reporting


How To Implement Odour Management Strategies?

Implementing effective odour management strategies involves several key steps.

The first being Assessment and Planning. This is where an Odour Assessment would need to be conducted in order to identify the potential sources of the odour and then evaluate the potential impact. A detailed OMP can then be developed based on this assessment.

Control Measures can then be put in place such as air purification systems, ventilation and abatement/containment. Tools such as masking agents and odour neutralisers can/should be used where appropriate.

Then Monitoring and Maintenance can be considered. During this stage, odour levels should be regularly monitored using the appropriate detection methods outlined above. Control systems must be updated and maintained to ensure the monitoring’s ongoing effectiveness.

Finally, it is crucially important to provide Training and Awareness to all employees in order to educate them on the importance of proper handling techniques and overall odour management.

OMP Model for Odour Management Plans ECL

Your OMP Experts

ECL have the expertise and knowledge to prepare, develop, support and implement your comprehensive Odour Management Plan for regulatory approval.

This is initially undertaken as a desk-based exercise by our experienced Environmental Consultants with the OMP demonstrating that your onsite activities are effectively controlled in order to minimise odour pollution.  

Our Odour Consultancy Services are individually tailored to the specific needs of your business and include:

  • Odour Assessments
  • Custom OMP Development
  • Implementation Support
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Employee Training
  • Complete Regulatory Compliance

ECL not only conduct our thorough odour assessments to identify potential sources and evaluate the extent of odour emissions at your site. We create detailed, site-specific Odour Management Plans that address the unique requirements and challenges of your business. Including strategies for odour control, monitoring protocols, and contingency plans to ensure the effective management of all odour emissions.

We will provide support throughout the whole implementation process, helping you integrate odour control measures seamlessly into your operations.

We can provide Environmental Compliance Monitoring (ECM) via our in-house Air Quality Monitoring and Environmental Monitoring teams to regularly track odour levels, ensuring compliance with all appropriate UK regulatory standards and keep you updated with the latest regulatory requirements to help you navigate the complexities of environmental laws. Our expert environmental consultants will ensure that your Odour Management Plan meets all the necessary legal standards, reducing your risk of non-compliance and associated enforcement action/penalties.

ECL also offers comprehensive training programmes for your employees, ensuring they are well-versed in best practices for odour management including the control of odour, proper handling techniques and emergency response procedures.

We bring a wealth of expertise, the latest technology, and a client-focused approach to every project. By partnering with ECL, you can ensure that your odour management plans and odour management strategies are not only compliant with regulations but also sustainable and effective.

Fill out our ECL Enquiry Form or call us on 01443 801215 for any queries regarding our Odour Consultancy Services or any of our other Environmental Consultancy Services, including  Planning Applications, Part A1 Environmental Permits, Local Authority Environmental Permits, and information on potential ongoing Environmental Management Assistance.