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New EU odour standards for large poultry and pig farms

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intensive unit   A week ago the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/302 of 15 February 2017 establishing best available techniques (BAT) conclusions for the intensive rearing of poultry or pigs was published. These conclusions are compulsory following the Industrial Emission Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council and set specific points regarding environmental issues for large intensive units. The good news is that odour management is a key issue in this document. The bad news is that no Emission Levels Associated with BATs (BAT-AELs) for emissions to air of odours have been set, just for ammonia, which is not quite the same. It seems that there is a general fear to set limits in terms of odour units or meters of setback distance.

   The Industrial Emission Directive (IED) defines a legal framework in Europe related to environmental permitting and thus odour emission. This regulation applies to Intensive rearing of poultry (more than 40 000 places), pigs over 30 kg (more than 2000 places) and sows (more than 750 places) in 39 countries in the EU under the European Environment Agency (EEA) umbrella.

Following the Sevilla Process, the second draft of the BREF on Intensive Rearing of Poultry and Pigs (IRPP) was issued on August 2013. A couple of years later, in 2015 the final draft was released. and now after many years of revision and drafting the final conclusions have been published the 21st of February.

The word "odour" appears at that time 32 times in these conclusions. This is a measure of the importance of the odour management in this BREF.


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