Understanding the EPA's guidelines for odour regulations in Queensland

OdourPro on 19 February 2019

Queensland is a diverse state in the North East of Australia that is home to over five million people. It is well known for its natural environment like the Great Barrier Reef, rain forests and beaches. But Queensland is also home to large and growing cities like the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

As commercial and industrial activity have expanded in the state, strict controls have been introduced to protect the environment as well as the health of workers and residents. One of the areas of focus for the Environmental Protection Agency in Queensland is odour.

An odour reporting system has been implemented in Queensland, giving residents the ability to report odour complaints for investigation by the authorities. Where companies are found to be in violation of their trade permit conditions, large fines may be imposed.

More complicated odour problems are subject to larger investigations including resident surveys, air quality sampling and industry inspections. This happens when the source cannot be easily identified or may be a combination of contributors. An example of this is currently underway in Swanbank Industrial Area.

As a result of this emphasis on odours in Queensland, here are some guidelines for odour management for industries and businesses operating in this state.

OdourPro is an industry leader in odour control solutions. Find out more about our odour control products and services here.

Industries known to cause odours in Queensland

Due to the high temperatures in Queensland some odour sources carry higher risks than others. Common industries for odour complaints include:

queensland odour guidelines

As industrial areas and residential developments get closer to each other through urban creep, the pressure on industry to manage nuisance odours is rising.

Queensland requirements for applying for activities with impacts to air

Queensland's government has defined Environmentally Relevant Activities (ERA). Approval for these activities that impact air quality require applications to be made to the Department of Environment and Science.

The aim of this process is to identify the values of the receiving air environment, to identify the possible impacts of the proposed activity and to develop a plan for mitigating the risks. In some cases, an odour impact assessment may be required to quantify the risks of the proposed development.

Odour impact assessments in Queensland

The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage protection have developed a guideline for odour impact assessments for situations where new developments may impact on surrounding communities.

The guideline sets out a process for assessing potential impacts taking into account the company’s track record and compliance history. Air dispersion modelling can be used to predict ground level odour concentrations, or an industry specific odour intensity approach could provide the likelihood of odour impacts.

Assessing nuisance odours is a complex process due to the variability in human experience and tolerance levels. These key elements are assessed for the severity of nuisance odour:

  • Frequency of occurrence

  • Intensity

  • Duration

  • Offensiveness

  • Location

It is also important to understand the context of the facility expansion or development. This requires obtaining readings for ambient odour concentrations that already exist in the environment.

One major odour management tool is available during the design phase of a new project. This involves creating sufficient buffer zones around the odour sources to mitigate the potential impact on the surrounding community. Another major tool is the use of best practice odour control solutions.

How OdourPro solves odour problems

Odour control solutions depend on the source of odour.

In the case of landfills and composting sites, the potential for odours is high, especially with Queensland’s high temperatures.

The best odour control solutions for this context are surface treatments. OdourPro supplies BioStreme 111F and BioStreme 201. Foam applicators cover the surface of odour source and promote the selective growth of facultative bacteria, which decompose biological matter without producing odours.

Chemical dosing is often the preferred treatment for waste water systems. These chemicals inhibit the formation of hydrogen sulphide and therefore reduce the odours produced.

Where vapour streams can be isolated before being discharged to the atmosphere, both biofilters and carbon filters are effective means to treat these emissions.

queensland odour compliance

Contact OdourPro for odour control in Queensland

OdourPro understands the regulatory environment in Queensland and has experience implementing odour control systems that meet the requirements. Our solutions keep you compliant and enable you to maintain good relationships with the surrounding community. We offer odour management consulting services as well as technical solutions for all major odour issues.

Find out more about our odour control solutions here or call our expert team on 1800 510 704 today to arrange a consultation.