National Expert: Odor and Tracer Gas Studies Tom Rappolt


More than half of all air pollution complaints registered to regulatory agencies in the U.S. are related to odor issues. While EPA does not recognize odor as a pollutant and does not regulate odors through the Clean Air Act amendments, local regulatory groups largely enforce odor impacts through nuisance regulations. As a result, the enforcement is subjective, usually at the discretion of an environmental inspector or Air Pollution Control Officer, often based upon verified citizen complaints. Thus, it is difficult for facilities to mitigate an alleged odor violation.

Landfills, waste handling facilities, and renewable energy plants are cognizant of odor issues and strive to minimize odors. SCS Engineers have the expertise in-house to assess and quantify odor emissions and assess impacts. We offer advanced techniques in dispersion meteorology and air monitoring systems for assessing odor impacts from client facilities. These capabilities allow our clients to assess the severity of their odor issues and by doing so set realistic benchmarks toward cost-effective and meaningful mitigation measures.

SCS odor assessment capabilities include the following problem-solving services:

  • Measuring source strength of odor sources at facilities.
  • Conducting chemical speciation of odorous air samples.
  • Modeling odor emissions to project odor impacts related to facility operations.
  • Analysis of odor incident data and complaint information.
  • Authorship of Odor Control Plans.
  • Investigation of odor episodes as a result of multiple facilities’ emissions and natural sources.
  • Litigation support and expert witness services with regard to odor impacts.
  • Evaluation of odor control systems.

Visit SCS’s Odor Monitoring and Control page for more information.