Equipping the community with tools to identify and effectively report pollution are a great help to any campaign. Odours are a common concern, and tools to help identify them can support local monitoring.
Learning about the processes, chemicals used, and pollution emitted by the target company will help a Good Neighbour Campaign gain and maintain credibility. Additionally, with proper monitoring and reporting, pollution exceedances can be properly recorded and polluters can be held accountable.
Odours are a common concern for residents living near industry, and can be an indication of emissions of concern. Though some odours are not harmful (and some harmful chemicals are odourless), residents of Ontario have the right to report odours to the MOE if they affect a resident’s ability to enjoy their property or create physical discomfort – see the Environmental Bill of Rights for more information.
Training residents on what odours to be aware of and agreeing to common terms will improve reporting to the company and to the MOE. Some common terms for describing odour can be seen on this odour wheel, though a community might find it more useful to create their own list of common smells.
The GNC team in Toronto organized an Odour Walk to identify locations of concern, and agree on terms to use when describing the odours. The group shared their findings with the company, which was beginning it’s own Odour Audit process to monitor odour impacts in the community. The company added new locations to their Odour Audit route as a result of the community’s request. Read more about it here.
Environment Hamilton created a comprehensive Odour guide to help residents identify and report odours.
- Odour watch guide – created by Environment Hamilton
- Odour Decriptors Wheel
- Odour Descriptors table & health impacts
- Reporting spills and pollution emissions to the MOE
- Stackwatch – a tool to identify industrial facilities
- Pollution Logs and Calendars