Published 2 new BREFs bringing more requirements on odour management

 BREF  In December 2019, the European IPPC Bureau published 2 new Best Reference Guidelines (BREFs) for: Food, Drink and Milk Industries and Waste Incineration. These two particular BREFs have something in common, they both include the Odour Management Plan (OMP) as one of the Best Available Techniques (BAT) for odour control and/or monitoring.

   There are over 30 BREF documents published to date for a set of industrial activities under the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Unfortunately, odour impact was something not very well taken into account in the oldest BREF, but this is finally changing in the revisions being published along the last years. From now on, any food/drink industry or any waste incineration plant in Europe will need to carry out an Odour Management Plan when needed, as it is listed as one of the BATs.

   In fact, there are several BREFs published along the last 5 years that include the OMP as one of the Best Available Techniques for odour abatement and control. This table summarises these BREFs and the corresponding BAT that explains the OMP.



BAT about OMP

The word “Odour”

Common Waste Water and Waste Gas Treatment/Management Systems in the Chemical Sector

January 2017

BAT 20

302 times

Food, Drink and Milk Industries

December 2019

BAT 15

326 times

Intensive Rearing of Poultry or Pigs

July 2017

BAT 12

592 times

Large Combustion Plants

December 2017


9 times

Production of Large Volume Organic Chemicals

December 2017

2.4.9 Techniques to reduce odour

50 times

Waste Incineration

December 2019

BAT 1*

52 times

Waste treatment

August 2018

BAT 10 & 12

210 times

Wood-based Panels Production

November 2015


73 times

* As part of an Environmental Management System (EMS)

    As you already know, the BAT Conclusions are compulsory for an important set of European industrial activities included in the IED 2010/75/EU.

    Although in both cases, the OMP has some points in common, there are some differences between them. The main difference is that the Waste I ncineration BREF does not includes a protocol containing actions or timelines, and the odour monitoring must be done in accordance with EN standards.

    The points in common are:

  • A protocol for conducting odour monitoring.
  • A protocol for response to identified odour incidents, e.g. complaints.
  • An odour prevention and reduction programme designed to identify the source(s); to measure/estimate odour exposure; to characterise the contributions of the sources; and to implement prevention and/or reduction measures.

   In the case of the Food, Drink and Milk Industries BREF , the OMP should be set up, implemented and regularly reviewed as part of an EMS, but it is only applicable to cases where an odour nuisance at sensitive receptors is expected and/or has been substantiated.


   If you find this article interesting, you might also be interested in these articles.


Cyntia Izquierdo