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Air quality 2017-10-16T15:09:38+00:00

Air quality

We can help identify and quantify sources of air emissions from your activities, assess their impact on the environment and find the right mitigation measures. We can also monitor and assess the impact your neighbour’s activities are having on air quality at your development.

Our services include air impact assessments, source and ambient air monitoring, and air dispersion modelling, as well as many more described below.

Gas sampling

Ambient air monitoring

Air impact assessment

Emissions estimation

Greenhouse gas assessment

Air dispersion modelling

Regional airshed modelling

Risk assessment

Environmental management plans

Environmental protection license

Air policy and standards

Expert advice and testimony

Technical review

Talk with one of our scientists about your air quality issues

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Gas sampling

We can run emission sampling programs for a range of gases, from hazardous air pollutants and odorous gases, to particulates and combustion gases. Emission sampling and testing is conducted for a variety of investigative reasons. It can be used in dispersion modelling for planning assessments, for routine compliance and to monitor workplace exposure in health and safety audits.

No matter what your project is, we will design an effective emissions monitoring program to meet your objectives and expectations. This will be based on listening to you and understanding your requirements, designing a sampling program that meets your goals and using the right equipment, data analysis techniques and regulatory standards and assessment criteria.

Ambient air monitoring

Our bespoke air quality monitoring programs can help you understand existing conditions at your facility and at your neighbours.

Whether you require ambient air quality data for regulatory compliance, managing environmental performance, assessing air pollution controls, conducting an environmental evaluation or collecting background data for future planning and impact assessments, speak to us about designing and managing a monitoring program that meets your specific requirements.

Dust monitoring in particular can be undertaken in many forms to address a variety of objectives. The method selected and particle size range targeted will be different depending on the health and environmental issue and management strategy. We can create, implement and manage the best strategy that meets your business’s objectives and budget.

Air impact assessment

Air impact assessments are at the core of much of what we do at Air Environment. Whether we begin with emissions for an existing activity, are planning for a future activity or wish to understand the impact of a neighbour’s activity, emissions monitoring, estimation and dispersion modelling provide the foundation for our air impact assessments.

We are highly experienced in air impact assessments for a vast range of activities, emission sources and project requirements. Whether your project is for planning and approvals, an environmental evaluation order from a regulatory authority or for research, speak to one of our experts today about how we can assist with your air impact assessment requirements.

Emissions estimation

The estimation of air emissions is commonly undertaken for air impact assessments. This is particularly the case in planning assessments where the emission source does not yet exist and actual data is unobtainable.

Our highly skilled consultants have extensive experience in estimating air emissions from a broad range of activities and for an array of pollutants. We use many different sources to estimate emissions from emissions factors, mass balance and engineering calculations to literature reviews of peer-reviewed journals and reports in our own internal database.

We can also assist with the benchmarking of actual and estimated emissions against regulatory limits, standards and best practice.

Greenhouse gas assessment

The assessment of greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of understanding industry’s impact on our changing climate. It is also useful in managing a business’s sustainability and energy use, including the full cost of that energy.

Our consultants have conducted greenhouse gas assessments for a range of industries for environmental impact statements and sustainability audits. These include the use of real and estimated data for both construction and operational project phases.

Air dispersion modelling

A computer-based dispersion model can estimate a person or community’s potential exposure to the emissions released by polluting activities. This can be used to assess emissions during the planning and approval phase of a proposed development, as well as understanding the individual and cumulative impact of existing pollution sources.

Air emission sources come in all shapes and sizes, from a tall stack, flare or short roof vent to a fugitive release from a building, pond or stockpile, to a section of linear infrastructure such as a road, rail line or conveyor. No matter how complex the source is, we can model and assess it.

Our team is experienced in the entire range of advanced air dispersion models and techniques, so we can best meet the specific needs of each project.

Regional airshed modelling

Air impact assessments are usually conducted for individual industrial clients at scales of up to ten kilometres from a source. In comparison, regional scale air quality or ‘airshed’ studies account for emissions associated with multiple activities, pollutants and sources and that are more spatially and temporally complex. Pollutants from many different emission sources mix together and often travel significant distances while interacting with diverse terrain and land features over much larger distances. Regional pollutant transport affects larger populations or multiple communities.

Air Environment’s experienced air quality modellers have been involved in many regional airshed studies for both industrial and government sector clients. These studies comprise regional emission estimation, regional meteorological simulation and dispersion modelling with impact assessment.

Risk assessment

An air quality impact assessment is typically based on a prediction of ground-level concentrations of certain pollutants in a specific area. However such an assessment rarely provides a ‘black and white’ outcome, due to the range of assumptions made and the inherent uncertainties present in emissions measurement, estimation and modelling.

A risk assessment can put the results into context and provide clarity and confidence to decision-makers over what the likely risks to the business or community are.

Environmental management plans

Whether your business is seeking ISO14001 Environmental Management certification or just needs to monitor and mitigate air, dust or odour emissions, Air Environment can work with your team to integrate the right procedures, monitoring program, controls and auditing systems to meet internal and regulatory compliance requirements.

The outcomes of air quality and odour impact assessments are often used by regulators to set conditions of approval in granting an environmental protection license to a development. This assessment and the license conditions are subsequently used to develop an environmental management plan to minimise the activity’s environmental impact and manage its ongoing compliance with the license and general environmental laws.

Air Environment can assist your business at every step of this process. We can assess the potential impact of the development, offer mitigation and control options and assess the efficacy of each option. We can then help navigate license condition negotiations. Finally, we can develop and implement an air quality, dust or odour management plan to assess your facility’s compliance with the legislation, license conditions and regulatory changes.

Environmental protection license

Air Environment can help ease the negotiation of your environmental license conditions.

Stack emission limits, odour concentration targets of control equipment, ambient air quality objectives and air quality monitoring requirements can be set as part of a new facility’s environmental protection license conditions. We can help you make sense of these conditions and provide advice as to whether the conditions can be met.

Air Environment can also undertake an audit of your facility to determine whether it complies with the air quality-related conditions of the environmental protection license.

Air policy and standards

Are you confused by the environmental air quality and odour policies and standards? Not sure of the difference between a standard, an objective, a goal and an exposure limit? What is the difference between a ground level concentration standard and an emission concentration standard? What is the meaning of the percentiles in odour impact assessment criteria? Why are the criteria based on averages and why are all the averaging periods different, with some for short term sub-hourly periods and some for longer term daily, monthly, seasonal or even annual periods?

Air quality assessment policy and standards are some of the most complex in the environmental field. The Air Environment team are experienced in all aspects of air quality policy and assessment through their exposure to a broad spectrum of Australian and international air quality and odour projects.

Our people have also worked in government as policy makers and regulators, and also on research projects to advise policy development.

We would love to answer any questions you have on air policy and regulations.

Expert advice and testimony

At Air Environment, our basic tenet is the provision of independent expert advice. We will apply a rigorous and robust assessment approach and provide our honest opinion of your project’s merits. We will offer realistic solutions to try to overcome any potential roadblocks to your project’s success.

 We can also provide support to your project through negotiations with regulators including the EPA or local council or through an appeals process in the Land and Environment Court or a tribunal hearing.

Technical review

A technical or third party peer review of your existing air quality data and assessment reports can strengthen your project at the development approval stage or in response to a request for an environmental evaluation or compliance audit.

We can save you money and time by identifying existing weaknesses and opportunities for expansion within your reports, to increase the likelihood of your project being approved the first time.

Our scientists have a foot in either camp, with experience in both industry and regulatory bodies. For example, Air Environment consultants have worked for EPAs and understand the regulatory process, and we regularly assist environmental regulators and local governments with technical reviews and advice for environmental evaluations, compliance audits and development approvals.

This means we know what the regulators need and how to speak their language, helping to ensure your proposal complies with all its legal requirements.