Odor Reporting

Stop Arbor Hills has a new web-based odor reporting system, The Odor Report. https://theodorreport.com/

Instead of emailing or calling the Michigan Dept. Of Environmental Quality, we are using The Odor Report to submit odor complaints from Arbor Hills Landfill. We urge you to use this system so we will have all odor reports in a central repository for tracking and reporting purposes.

If you create an account, the system will remember and populate your name and address every time you log in. The instructions and screen captures below are based on iPhone X behavior. Screens may look a bit different on your device but the functionality should be the same.

Contact info@theconservancyinitiative.org if you have questions or issues related to The Odor Report.

Here’s how to create a new account.

Go to https://theodorreport.com/

  1. Select Create Account.

The Create Account page will render.

2. Enter a username, email address and password then select Create.

3. The User Info page will render. Enter your name and address then select Save.

Note: The system does not have a Create Account confirmation page but we may request one. Your information is saved and your account has been created if you do not get an error message stating there was an issue.

Now you’re ready to submit an odor complaint.

If you are already logged into the system, select Home.

If you are not already logged into the system, go to https://theodorreport.com/.

Select Login

The Login screen will pop up.

Enter your username and password. Select Login.

The Personal Info page will render. Your name and address will populate automatically.  Note your username at the top of the screen.

Select the radio button at the bottom of the screen denoting whether the address associated with your account is where you smelled the odor. Select Next.

The Odor Information page will render. The system will populate with your address.

Select the date and time you smelled the odor. Select Next.

The Odor Details page will render.

Select the Odor Scale, enter the Odor Duration, describe the odor and select any symptoms the odor may have caused. This page contains a free-form text box for you to add any relevant comments. Select Next.

The Finalize page will render.

Select whether you want your personal information to remain confidential and whether you would like someone to contact you. Select Submit.

The Thank You page will render.

When you click Submit, your odor complaint is sent to the MDEQ, EPA and elected officials. You will receive a confirmation email plus a copy of your odor complaint.

Note: Odor complaints are public information that can be requested under the Freedom Of Information Act. If you request confidentiality, your complaint will be put in a file that prevents your personal information from being shared with the public. The system must collect  your name to prevent system abuse.

The MDEQ only counts one odor complaint per day per household.  If you and your spouse both report odors on the same date, the MDEQ only counts one odor complaint.

You can report odors from home, school or work. Drive-by odor complaints are not valid, according to MDEQ. You can report odors from your child’s school.

You can submit odor complaints that occurred in the past. Just be sure to select the proper date and time on The Odor Report.

Please don’t report an odor by phone, email and The Odor Report. This frustrates the MDEQ staff because they have to sift through and remove redundant odor complaints.

Review the MDEQ Air Quality Division compliance procedures for complaint investigations (PDF).

If you have any issues with Arbor Hills Landfill, contact Ken Ruffatto at Ruffatto.Kenneth@epa.gov or 312-886-7886 and/or Sarah Loiacono at loiacono.sara@epa.gov or 312-353-9199.

For questions or concerns regarding landfill operations or design, waste streams or odor, call Larry Bean of the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality at 517-416-4375 or Alex Whitlow at 517-614-9712 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For questions or concerns regarding air quality permitting related to landfills, call the MDEQ’s Diane Kavanaugh Vetort at 517-780-7864.

If you live in Wayne County, you can report landfill odors to the Wayne County Environmental Hotline at 1-888-223-2363. 

When logging an odor complaint, try to associate the odor with something familiar. Examples are rotten eggs, gas, burning plastic, asphalt, sewage/fecal matter, garbage, rotting vegetation and compost.

Other useful descriptions are oily, musty, metallic, pungent, light or heavy. Helpful information is whether the odor is fleeting but recurring, or constant for longer periods.

The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality uses the following odor scale to triage odor complaints:

Odor scale
0. Non-detectable
1. Just barely detectable
2. Distinct and definite odor
3. Distinct and definite objectionable odor
4. Odor strong enough to cause a person to attempt to avoid it completely
5. Odor so strong as to be overpowering and intolerable for any length of time

More information

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