What’s that smell?

South St. Paul clarifies odor ordinance

The South St. Paul City Council approved an ordinance amendment May 15 that will help provide an objective standard for any odor complaint received.

The first reading took place at the May 1 meeting.

City attorney Kori Land said the odor ordinance was originally adopted in 2014.

“Since that time we have determined that it’s appropriate to include our testing device and measurements we have been using to determine a particular property is a significant odor generator,” Land said at the May 1 meeting. 

The amendment made official the use of the Nasal Ranger device to measure smells, and also provides a point at which odor complaints become official — a score of seven odor units or higher on the Nasal Ranger. 

This is the same device and testing range that is currently used, Land said. 

“We think it’s appropriate,” Land said. “We think it’s objective, and we think it’s a fair test.” 

There would need to be seven verified complaints within a six-month period before a property would be designated a significant odor generator. 

The designation places an obligation on the property owner to develop an odor management plan to deal with the issue.

There were no comments or questions from the council at either meeting. The amendment becomes effective upon publication, which is tentatively May 21. 


Hannah Burlingame 




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