The German Law in Air Quality will incorporate ambient air limit values

goaa taluft    The German Guideline on Odour in Ambient Air (GOAA) has been around for a good couple of decades, but it was just this... a Guideline. There were no  general odour limits in the German main legislation on ambient air (TA Luft). During the last years, the GOAA has been fully accepted at court as a regulatory system, so this was the logical step forward.

   Last Friday the Federal Council of Germany approved the amendment of the TA Luft and now the odour impact criteria set in the GOAA will be incorporated into the TA Luft, meaning that the GOAA will no longer be a Guidance, but it will become an odour regulation. That is, Germany there will be a regulatory limit of 1 odour hour in ambient air that cannot be exceeded more than 876 hours a year in residential areas.

   Also for industrial areas, the limit of 1 odour hour cannot be exceeded more than 1314 hours.

   This is, to our knowledge the first general limit of odour in ambient air in Europe as it applies to any activity that is potential odour pollutant and to all sectors.

   The fact that the GOAA is not just a Guidance, but now it will be incorporated into the TA Luft, has given the power to the German Environmental Public Offices to enforce a regulation. In the past, if the expert or the regulator didn’t take the GOAA into account, the German Courts would act stating that the GOAA was to be applied. As a consequence, it will be included in the TA Luft to guarantee a uniform application all over Germany.

   Also, there are many specific odour regulations that will be included in the TA Luft now, that were within the GOAA, but this requires a bit of a longer article.

   From we would like to say congratulations to the people that got this first general regulation of odour levels in ambient air.

   Learn more here.

 Edited: 07/06/2021

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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