3.3   Community odour monitoring program

Ray Porter and Abena Twumasi-Smith, Wood Buffalo Environmental Association



The WBEA Human Exposure Monitoring Program (HEMP) conducts projects focused on odour detection and chemical characterization in communities and areas of public concern. The projects are strategically integrated to assess and communicate environmental air-related human exposure concerns to stakeholders and the public in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).

VOCs and RSCs are often associated with odour episodes. As the RMWB continues to experience substantial population, industrial, and commercial growth, this will result in increased emissions of potential concern. There is an imminent need  to generate information that will enhance our understanding of relationships between air quality and human exposure in the Wood Buffalo Region.

WBEA monitors odours using different specialized odour detection evaluation and quantification instruments and method to continue to build on odour data in the region. An odour detection analyzer used by WBEA is an Electronic Nose (eNose) that measures odour intensity and frequency in odour units, to indicate odour strength. The other instrument method being a dual detector Pneumatic Focused Gas Chromatograph (PFGC) that provides hourly measurements of VOCs and RSCs.

WBEA Human Exposure Monitoring Program then takes these measurement methodologies and data that relate to odours from the different methods listed above and integrate into a synthesis in order to arrive at a unified message on the state of regional odours. One key component of synthesis is a community based odour monitoring project, which involves having community individuals participate as “odour observant(s)“ in the classification and reporting of odours in the city.


Mr. Raymond Porter brings more than 30 years of technical knowledge and experience to a diverse team of people committed to measuring, modeling and reporting of odours with the goal of improving the quality of life while optimizing the of limited resources. Mr. Porter has served as a national technical resource for odour impact assessments and odour control projects. Mr. Porter has contributed to technical manuals of practice that address odour emissions and air quality compliance at wastewater treatment plants.