Blackstone conducted a multi-phase odor study and provided consulting services for a Kansas municipality. Beginning in late 2015, the City observed an increase in odor reports in the vicinity of a large local landfill and assembled an Odor Study Team consisting of personnel from the City, County, landfill, and Blackstone. The goals of the Odor Study Team involved identifying the cause or causes of the increase in odor reports and using a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to reduce odors in the community.
Phase I of the odor study focused on identifying potential odor sources and other factors which may have contributed to the sudden and sustained increase in odor reports such as local meteorological conditions, topography, and the release of an electronic reporting app. As part of this phase, Blackstone created a database which allowed for the analysis of report information (time, location, description) and meteorological records (temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, etc.) corresponding to report information. The results of the Phase I study allowed Blackstone to: attribute numerous reports to an isolated odor-causing event; recommend upgrades to the submission app; refine the list of potential odor sources in the area; and develop a plan for field data collection.
Blackstone found the report database to be a useful tool in devising a plan for field monitoring as part of Phase II of the odor study. Blackstone conducted four field monitoring events at predetermined locations to observe and collect information on any odors present using field olfactometers. The data collected in the field help classify the frequency, intensity, duration, and offensiveness of the odors in the area. The Phase II odor study also included air dispersion modeling, which evaluated the potential for odors at varying atmospheric conditions and suggested that topographic features in the area may contribute to increased odors concentration. Blackstone recommended a list of operational improvements based on the results of the Phase II study, which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in odor reports. Blackstone has also been present at multiple Planning Commission and City Council meetings to present results of the odor study and answer questions from the community.