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Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) is responsible for regulating nuisance odors as defined under Denver Revised Municipal Code, Chapter 4 – Air Pollution Control, Section 4-10. Denver’s ordinance specifies odors as a nuisance issue, as opposed to a health issue, to address reasonable and comfortable use and enjoyment of property.

View the updated the Rules & Regulations Governing Nuisance Odors: English / Español

Odor Ordinance and Additional Information

Denver's updated odor ordinance includes these changes:

  • Who can complain - Business owners and employees, in addition to residents, are able to file formal complaints.
  • Complaint time period - The time period within which five complaints must be received to trigger enforcement has been lengthened from 12 hours to 30 days.
  • Specific industries - Businesses within certain industry types (for example: pet food manufacturing, marijuana grow operations and manufacturers of infused products (MIPs)) will be required to develop and submit an odor control plan based on Denver odor complaint data and community concerns, as well as precedent set by odor policy best practices of municipalities from around the country.
  • Odor control plan requirement - Facilities that exceed the complaint of dilution threshold standards, or fall within specific industry types, are required to develop an odor control plan instead of receiving a citation. An odor control plan would identify odor sources and control measures that will be taken to reduce odors from those sources. The measures will be based on best practices for that industry.

On November 10, 2016, the DDPHE Board approved the Rules & Regulations Governing Nuisance Odors (English / Español). This document is considered official and may be used as reference until the signed official document is received.


Denver investigates all complaints received on questionable odors. This includes identifying the source, independently verifying the odor, responding to the complainant and the source, and issuing a citation if necessary.

If issuing a citation is deemed necessary by DDPHE, the manager shall determine the amount of penalties. The Department's criteria for evaluating violations and assessing civil penalties can be viewed here.

To file a complaint, call 3-1-1 (720-913-1311) or email

After the adoption of the updated ordiance, DDPHE and the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative created an Odor Advisory Group, to draft the rules and regulations, develop odor control plan templates, and identify best practices. The Group consisted of industry, community, and technical representatives.

8-15-16 Meeting Notes:   EnglishEspañol

8-5-16 Meeting Notes:     English / Español

7-19-16 Meeting Minutes: EnglishEspañol

6-29-16 Meeting Minutes: English Español

6-13-16 Meeting Minutes: English / Español

5-26-16 Meeting Minutes: English Español

Odor Control Plan (OCP) Resources

Businesses must develop and submit an Odor Control Plan (OCP) if the facility:

  • Falls into one of the regulated industries (pet food manufacturing, marijuana grows and MIPS, rendering and meat byproduct processing, asphalt shingle manufacturinrg, sewage treatment facilities)
  • Has received five or more complaints from individuals from separate households or businesses within a 30-day period
  • Emits odours contaminants that exceed state regulatory standards for odor intensity (dilution threshold)

Odor Control Plan FAQ

For marijuana businesses, DDPHE will use the following checklists for reviewing OCP submittals. 

Marijuana Cultivation OCP Review Checklist

Marijuana Infused Products (MIPs) OCP Review Checklist

Odor Control Plan Template Marijuana-Social Consumption Clubs

View the updated odor ordinance fact sheet here. View an OCP template in English and Español. OCPs are due Feb. 8th, 2017.

DDPHE will meet with businesses one-on-one to review the odor control plans and provide edits. Multiple days and times are available through Feb. 23, 2017. Visit to register.

  • If you select a date after the OCP deadline of Feb. 8th, you still need to submit your plan by the deadline. However, you can submit edits after the one-on-one meeting. 

DDPHE held a workshop in December for marijuana facilities on the updated odor ordinance. View the presentation here. It includes:

  • Overview of the Updated Rules and Regulations
  • How to Submit Information to DDPHE
  • How DDPHE will review OCP's
  • How to request assistance
  • Building permits, zoning, and license implications

Report Odor Control Upset or Malfunctions

All odor control malfunctions must be reported to DDPHE by the end of the next business day after the discovery of the occurrence. 

To report malfunctions, complete the below form. 

You can also download the form, and email it to, or by calling 311. 


Media Relations

Ann Cecchine-Williams
Interim Communications Director

Tammy Vigil
Manager of Media Relations


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