New Ministerial Decree on Industrial Odour Management issued in Italy

   A couple of days ago, the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security of Italy published the national guidelines for monitoring and assessing industrial odour emissions. The Directorial Decree approving the Guidelines for the application of Article 272-bis of Legislative Decree 152/2006 on odorous emissions of plants and activities, was approved on the 18 June. This is the first step towards a more uniform application of good practices for monitoring and impact assessment of facilities and activities with potential odour impact.

   The Italian "Testo Unico in materia ambientale" is a law of the Italian Republic enacted by the Legislative Decree No 152 of 3 April 2006. This regulation of 172 pages and 318 articles has water, waste and air regulations chapters. Article 272 of this Legislative Decree has a couple of paragraphs with specific provisions for odour. There was a need for more developed guidelines. After years of development those have just been published.

   This new legislation develops the mere two paragraphs of Article 152 to the level of a guide and 5 Annexes, which deal with the following topics:

  1. Requirements for odour impact studies through model dispensation.
  2. Olfactometric sampling.
  3. Odour nuisance perception assessment strategies.
  4. Chemical characterisation of odour emission
  5. Instrumental Odour Monitoring Systems

   Italy has taken an essential step in protecting its citizens' environment and quality of life by implementing a new odour impact control law. This legislation, designed to address problems related to unpleasant odours generated by various sources, aims to ensure air quality and promote the population's well-being.

   The Directorial Decree establishes stricter regulations for businesses and other activities that may generate harmful odours to the environment and people. Companies must implement appropriate technologies and measures to control and reduce odour emissions.

   In addition, the Directorial Decree includes provisions to encourage citizen participation and transparency in the odour control process. Mechanisms are established for citizens to lodge complaints and allegations of offensive odours, and companies are required to respond promptly and appropriately to these concerns.

   Unfortunately, this legislation does not establish a framework for inspection and control by the authorities. Powers are not granted to regularly inspect companies' premises and ensure compliance with the regulations. No penalties or fines are foreseen for those not complying with the established standards, so the effectiveness of this legislation is somewhat limited.

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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of 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