In Austria a new guideline is under development to calculate the separation distance between livestock and residential areas to avoid odour annoyance. On the basis of dispersion model calculations for 6 sites by the Austrian odour dispersion model (AODM) a regression model is developed, using a power function S = a E-b. The power function is defined by four input parameters. The basis of the power function is the odour emission rate E (ou(E) s(-1)) in the range between 400 ou(E) s(-1) <= E <= 24 000 ou(E) s(-1). The factor alpha and the exponent b of the power function are defined by two meteorological parameters, the relative frequency of the wind direction F, the mean wind velocity W of the wind direction for 100 sectors as well as the odour exceedance probability P of the odour impact criterion. One of the requirements for this empirical model is the aspiration to substitute the complex calculation with a dispersion model by the new empirical model. The empirical model can be used in a paper and pencil mode, which enables an evaluation of a planned livestock building in a simple way. For a more detailed assessment, a dispersion model can be applied with the entire meteorological information (e.g., stability of the atmosphere, wind field models), the geometry of the emission source, a time depending odour emission rate, and the orography of the site. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.