Odour Emission is not an Issue any more in Colombia.The new Resolution 1541 has finally come true.

web ministerio colombia   This month, the new Resolution 1541 of 2013 has been finally approved by the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The Resolution 1541 establishes the admisible levels for air quality and ambient air and the procedure for activities potentially producers of odour complaints. This new legislation has been published in the Official Diary of Colombia Number 48.975 of the 15th of November of 2013.

That is, a couple of weeks ago...

This Resolution 1541 has some key aspect related with odour management.

 The Environmental Regulator has a time frame of 30 days to deal with odour complaints. After that, there are some 30 days more to ask to the activity for an Odour Management Plan or in Spanish Plan para la Reducción del Impacto por Olores Ofensivos (PRIO). The industrial activities have 3 months to send a PRIO to the regulator with the aim of decreasing the odour emission rate.

   In this way, the article 8 indicates that the PRIO should contain basic data such as location and description of the activity. In addition, the plan should include a description, design and technical justification of the efficiency of the Best Practices or the Best Available Techniques used to abate odour emission. Last but not least,  the PRIO should detail the specific goals of the plan to reduce the impact due to offensive odours, a Gantt chart for the application of the measures to control odour emission and a contingency plan.

   There are daily limits set for chemicals such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Total Reduced Sulphur (TRS) and ammonia (NH3) of  7, 7 and 91 μg/m3 , respectively, and hourly limits of 30, 40 and 1400 μg/m3, respectively.

  So far, we have a typical quality air legislation, but here we have the novelty, there are admissible limit levels for odours in the air, when an industrial plant is located nearby. Here we have the table:

Activity Admissible level*
Meat, fish, mollusc and crustacean processing and preservation. 3 ouE/m3
Oil refinery processes.
Paper pulp, paper and cardboard manufacture.
Leathery and tanning of skins.
Non hazardous waste collection, transport, transference, processing or disposal. 
Activities that collect water from water bodies receptors of waste water discharges.
Manufacture of substances and basic chemical products.
Thermal Destruction of animal by-products.
Farms 5 ouE/m3
Manufacture of vegetable oils and fats.
decaffeination, roasting and grinding of coffee. 7 ouE/m3
Other activities


   The units used here are the European Odour Units per cubic meter. These limits are expressed as 98th percentile of hourly mean (equivalent to 175 exceedences per year). The method used to measure odours is detailed in the Colombian norm NTC 5880, Air Quality. Determination of Odour Concentration by Dynamic Olfactometry. The dispersion models that should be used for this evaluation are AERMOD and CALPUFF.

 Want to know more? read the new legislation in the Colombian Official Diary (unfortunately, in Spanish) here: Diario Oficial No. 48.975 de 15 de noviembre de 2013




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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of olores.org and has been in the odour world since 2001. Since then, Carlos has attended over 90 conferences in odour management, both national and international and authored a few papers on the subject. He has also organized a few international meetings and courses. Carlos owns a small company named Ambiente et Odora (AEO). He spends his free time with his wife and his twins, Laura and Daniel, and of course, writing on olores.org.