Chapter 7. Odour and gas management
There are several requirements to manage odour and gas at RMADFs.
Section 7.1. Odour management plan
An Odour Management Plan reduces the risk of potential odour emissions and addresses neighbour concerns from RMADFs. Section 98.6.1 sets out the requirement for an odour management plan.
For all RMADFs receiving more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD materials in the preceding 12-month period or receiving Schedule 2B material in the preceding 12-month period, an odour management plan must be prepared for the RMADF facility and must be implemented. The odour management plan is part of the nutrient management strategy for the operation.
The odour management plan must be prepared and implemented at the time that the RMADFs receives more than 10,000 cubic metres in the preceding 12-month period or any Schedule 2B materials. The odour management plan must be followed for a minimum of 12 months.
The odour management plan must be prepared by a professional engineer, and the plan must be implemented as prepared.
(see s. 17 (1) (b.3), 98.6.1, O. Reg. 267/03).
The professional engineer preparing the odour management plan must follow the requirements of O. Reg. 267/03 and have regard to the Best Management Practices for Industrial Sources of Odour and Odour Guidance for On-farm Anaerobic Digestion. The latter document provides specific details about the application of an odour management plan to an on-farm AD facility.
The odour management plan must contain, at a minimum, the following:
- A description of the RMADF, and the types of off-farm and on-farm AD materials anticipated to be received.
- A map or diagram of the RMADF and other odour sources on the farm unit, including likely odour receptors, prevailing wind direction, and physical or geographic features that may impact air movement.
- An identification of each source of odour emission and potential odour emission at the RMADF, and for each source of odour identified the following information must be provided:
- A description of the odour, including cause, type, strength, and frequency
- Potential causes for increases in the odour emission and potential odour emission, and risk factors that might cause increases
- A description of odour control measures including systems and operations used to prevent or minimize the odour emission and potential odour emission
- Identification of any additional measures including systems and operations that could be implemented to control each odour emission and potential odour emission, including the trigger or likely cause for use of the additional measure, frequency, and duration that the additional measure may be applied; and
- Inspection and monitoring procedures, including the equipment’s service and maintenance schedules.
- An odour contingency plan to address any problems with the RMADF that could lead to odours.
- A training program for all odour management operations that require staff training.
- A complaints response plan that outlines procedures that will be taken for receiving and responding to public complaints, including requirements to:
- Record the date of the complaint
- Describe the complaint
- Assess the RMADF in light of the complaint and identify actions necessary to respond to the complaint; and
- Describe the actions taken in response to the complaint.
The odour management plan must be signed by the owner or operator of the RMADF.
The odour management plan must be updated by a professional engineer at the following times:
- When changes are made to systems and operations provided for in the plan
- When changes are made to the types of off-farm or on-farm AD materials treated in the RMADF; and
- When 10 years have passed since the last update.
A professional engineer who prepares or updates an odour management plan shall prepare and sign a statement confirming that they have reviewed the odour management plan and are satisfied that the plan has been prepared in accordance with this section of O. Reg. 267/03.
(see s. 98.6.1, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 7.2. Odour control systems
Operating and maintaining odour control systems can help maintain optimal odour control conditions at the RMADF. Section 98.6.2 sets out the requirement for an odour control system designed by a professional engineer. Section 98.6.2 applies to all RMADFs receiving more than 10,000 cubic metres in the preceding 12-month period or receiving Schedule 2B material in the preceding 12-month period. When either of these apply, the requirement to have an odour control system applies for a minimum of 12 months. The odour control system must meet the following requirements:
- The odour control system and its operating specifications must be designed by a professional engineer.
- The odour control system must be of sufficient size to treat all the odour emissions from the feedstock system.
- All of the odour emissions from the feedstock system must be delivered to and treated in the odour control system.
- The operating specifications for the odour control system must be kept at the site of the RMADF.
- The operating specifications for the odour control system must identify the records to be kept by the operator of the RMADF.
- The odour control system must be operated in accordance with its operating specifications.
(see s. 98.6.2 (1), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 7.3. Other odour requirements for RMADF receiving less than 10,000 cubic metres of off-Farm AD material in any 12-month period, and not receiving any Schedule 2B material
For RMADFs where odour control systems as described above are not required, there are other requirements for reducing the risk of odour emissions. For an RMADF receiving less than 10,000 cubic metres in the preceding 12-month period and not receiving Schedule 2B material in the preceding 12-month period, the following odour requirements apply:
- Off-farm AD materials, must be stored in the following conditions, depending on the dry matter content:
- If dry matter content is less than 18 per cent, store it in a sealed tank. This rule applies to farm feed.
- If it is stored for more than 48 hours, and if the material has a dry matter content of between 18 per cent and 50 per cent, store it in an enclosed storage facility. This rule does not apply to farm feed.
- If storing for more than 30 days and the material has a dry matter content of more than 50 per cent, store it in a facility entirely covered by a roof attached to the walls, with walls that enclose at least 75 per cent of the area of the facility. This rule does not apply to farm feed.
- Farm feed (as defined in O. Reg. 267/03) with a dry matter content of 18 per cent or more must be stored with a cover that will prevent it from coming into contact with any precipitation.
- Schedule 2 materials must be stored in a facility that was designed by a professional engineer to minimize odour emissions. The facility must also have been built to meet those design specifications.
(see s. 98.6 (1) 4., 5., 6., 7., 8., O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 7.4. Requirements for generated biogas
There are several requirements related to the management of the biogas at the RMADF. The gas combustion system(s) (such as a cogeneration unit or a boiler) or the biogas upgrading system(s) must be able to consume 110 per cent of the biogas that the facility can produce.
For facilities designed to generate biogas at a rate not exceeding 50 cubic metres per hour, a secondary gas burning facility (such as a flare) does not have to be located on the farm unit but must be used within 48 hours if the rate of release of non-combusted biogas is greater than 20 cubic metres per hour.
If the facility is designed to generate biogas at a rate that exceeds 50 cubic metres per hour, a secondary gas burning facility:
- Must be available
- Must be located on the farm unit at all times; and,
- Must be used to prevent any release of non-combusted biogas.
Gas storage covers installed on or after October 25, 2013, require the design permeability to be less than 500 centimetres cubed per square meter per day per bar of pressure.
(see s. 98.7 (1), (2), (3), (4)O. Reg. 267/03).
If the RMADF is designed to generate biogas at a rate that exceeds 50 cubic metres per hour, it must have a device for monitoring if the pressure relief device is open.
(see s. 98.9 (1), O. Reg. 267/03).
For an RMADF that receives more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm anaerobic materials in the preceding 12-month period or any Schedule 2B material in the preceding 12-month period the secondary gas burning facility must be a high efficiency flare that meets the following requirements:
- The flare must be designed by a professional engineer
- The flare must be sized by the professional engineer to consume 110% of the biogas production capacity of the facility; and
- Any biogas or renewable natural gas that is not used, consumed or removed from the facility must be disposed of in the flare.
(see s. 98.7 (5), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 7.5. Significant odour emission rule
Odour emissions from an RMADF can be a concern and might impact neighbours. For the RMADFs listed below, no person shall operate an RMADF, store anaerobic digestion output from an RMADF, or land apply anaerobic digestion output from an RMADF in a manner that generates a significant odour emission that is uncharacteristic of an agricultural operation that does not have an RMADF. This rule applies to any of the following RMADFs:
- Any RMADF approved on or after July 1, 2021
- RMADFs that have received more than 10,000 cubic metres of off-farm AD materials in any 12-month period; or,
- RMADFs that have received materials listed in Schedule 2B.
Once the Significant Odour Emission rule applies to an RMADF as a result of meeting one of these requirements, the rule will continue to apply to the facility on an on-going basis.
(see s. 98.6.3, O. Reg. 267/03).
When the significant odour emission rule applies to the storage and land application of anaerobic digestion output from an RMADF, the rule continues to apply to the anaerobic digestion output even if the material is transferred out to another farm unit, including if the activity is being undertaken at a farm unit that generates 5 or fewer nutrient units annually.
(see s. 6. (1), O. Reg. 267/03).