Odor Management

Odors from farms and the application of manure have a potential to generate conflict.  The PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program advocates for consideration by farmers of their neighbors when it comes to timing of manure spreading around holiday weekends or special events.  However the Program recognizes that farmers need to spread when the weather cooperates and when fields are available.  The Program recognizes that residents living in rural and agricultural areas need to be aware that they may experience odors resulting from manure application.  Manure application is an integral part of agricultural production, and is an acceptable and normal agricultural practice.


Photo courtesy of Gene Carlson, York PA

Pennsylvania enacted Act 38 of 2005 (also referred to as the Nutrient and Odor Management Act), which established standards for developing and implementing odor management plans.  New or expanding Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) must develop and implement Odor Management Plans to address odors from animal housing and manure storage facilities.  Odor Management Plans do not address application of manure.   Known as the PA Odor Site Index, Odor Management Plans require an evaluation of the site and management characteristics to determine the potential for impacts on neighboring residents from the offsite mitigation of odors from the proposed facilities.  Odor Management Plans may require Odor Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control potential impacts.

PA’s State Conservation Commission directly administers the Facility Odor Management Program. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) implements the Odor Management Certification Program for odor management plan writers and plan reviewers in Pennsylvania.

The Odor Management Program Coordinator is Karl Dymond.  He can be reached at 570-836-2181, extension 120 or kdymond@pa.gov.

Additional information about Odor Management can be found at http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/ProgramDetail.aspx?palid=24&  or http://extension.psu.edu/plants/nutrient-management/news/2014/odor-management-certification-training


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