You probably remember that a group of people of the ZUT University in the city of Szczecin in Poland promoted a decision to the European Parliament about a gap in the environmental legislation related to odour levels in ambient air. Many European and not-European citizens adhered to that petition and after a year and a half the final reply was sent. Today the European Parliament sent to the participants of this Petition 0884/2016, a draft agenda indicating that the petition has been proposed to be closed.
These bad news regarding the petition of a group of people of the ZUT University led by Mr Bogdan Ambrożek for a new odour legislation in Europe were actually a bit expected after having a look to the Commission reply published this February. The Commission mentioned at that time that "odour should best be addressed at local level by the competent authorities" and "it (the Commission) does not intend to propose any additional specific requirements regulating odour nuisances".
There is no reason to treat "odours" differently from "noise" although both are sensations that of course should be addressed locally. There is no reason to halt an odour framework having a noise Directive published since 2002. The health consequences of both noise and odour impacts are exactly the same. The results of a recent study published in 2016 showed significantly higher incidences of health symptoms (headaches, eye, nose and throat issues, wheezing, sneezing, shortness of breath, difficulty in concentration and general discomfort) in the communities exposed to some odorants.
The Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise requires Member States to prepare and publish, every 5 years, noise maps and noise management action plans. Unfortunately, odours in Europe will continue to be outside of the planning procedures except in some countries.
According to the petitioners, it is possible to open the petition again if there is further documentation or new arguments. If you think you can help out here, use the comments below or contact directly to Ms. Kosmider.
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