Montrose Environmental Group Preparing Report on Bay Area Odor Testing Results

Odor issues have persisted in Milpitas, CA neighborhoods for years despite past collaboration from the air district, local organizations, industry, and community. Since 2019, Montrose Environmental Group has been engaged with Bay Area Air Quality Management District (“BAAQMD”) on a study utilizing science-based methods to pinpoint the origin of offending odors derived from the composition, strength, and characterization of aromata in the Milpitas California area which could be originating from one of the various processes at a nearby facilities or through a natural occurrence, being close to a tidal estuary. [Montrose expects to conclude the study this summer with findings to be made public in Fall of 2021]

After a pause due to the pandemic, Montrose has been using new technologies to help identify and quantify over 520 compounds at ultra-low concentrations, and gather data over a period of time to capture seasonal and operational changes in the nearby industries.  Montrose has utilized the latest ultra-low detection technology, mobile platforms equipped with an ultra-high-resolution Proton Transfer Reaction – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer, GPS and Meteorological (“MET”) stations, geometric mapping algorithms for triangulation, and deep data gathering for multi-variate analysis (MVA).

Data is collected at the specific emissions points at three facilities and specific processes within each facility, giving them an individual odor “fingerprint. The recently completed data gathering process has generated over a terabyte of data that will be introduced into an MVA software owned by Sartorius, as well as a secondary software that can track individual odor plumes. The proprietary Montrose geometric algorithm triangulates various odor plumes, and in conjunction with the MVA fingerprint analysis, specific plumes and combinations of plumes may be identified that are contributing to the odor problems in Milpitas.

“Having the opportunity to work on the Milpitas project allows us to deploy our technology and solve a long-term real-life problem” said Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies, Peter G. Zemek, Ph.D., “The use of the triangulation, multi-variate analysis, and the amount of data ingested by these platforms to apply to odor allocation is unprecedented.”

In 2015, the South Bay Odor Stakeholders Group was formed as a forum for municipal leaders, industry, state and local regulators.  The group worked closely to develop odor mitigation strategies that address community concerns. Stakeholders expressed the importance to further study and to understand the specific odor compounds and its contribution from the local facilities with the goal to develop near and long-term strategies that can help resolve odor problems in the community. Montrose will issue a report to the BAAQMD for the odor testing results that will be presented to the Odor Panel Summit this fall.

About Montrose

Montrose is a leading environmental services company focused on supporting commercial and government organizations as they deal with the challenges of today, and prepare for what’s coming tomorrow. With more than 2,000 employees across over 70 locations around the world, Montrose combines deep local knowledge with an integrated approach to design, engineering, and operations, enabling the Company to respond effectively and efficiently to the unique requirements of each project. From comprehensive air measurement and laboratory services to regulatory compliance, emergency response, permitting, engineering, and remediation, Montrose delivers innovative and practical solutions that keep its clients on top of their immediate needs – and well ahead of the strategic curve. For more information, visit


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