São João da Madeira, Portugal

Portugal presents cases of pollution by odours especially related to industrial activities, concentrated and restricted to specific areas. The pulp and paper industries are a significant source of odours in Portugal and have the particularity of being distributed throughout the country. The two pilot studies that will be carried out in Portugal, under the D Noses Project, are, one in the Porto area – lead by LIPOR – and the other one in São João da Madeira, – lead by São João de Madeira Municipality.

The second pilot is related to an animal by-product processing plant that has been causing odour nuisances in the municipality of São João da Madeira, located 1,3 km away from the city centre. The whole surrounding area has been affected, in a radius that extends for several kilometers, depending on the orientation of the winds and atmospheric conditions and has consistently reached other municipalities including Santa Maria da Feira. These processing plants continue to generate controversy between the population and its administration. While everyone recognizes their economic value and the wealth they create in jobs, it is no less true that the odour emissions far exceed the radius of the 1 kilometer limit that their managers claim they achieve.

Several actions have been put in place, but the situation persists. A private mapping platform (Odourmap) was used from 2013 to 2015 with the collaboration of the citizens, who were disappointed after their crowd-sourced data had no relevant effect. In 2016, a social movement of protest achieved to gather 5000 signatures and submitted a request to the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, which decided to issue the resolution 190/2017 recommending the government to take the necessary measures to solve the environmental problems.