“Andrew and the team proved to be very flexible and responsive in accommodating changes and providing strategic and technical advice. I would highly recommend Air Environment and will certainly use them again.”
“Andrew’s reporting and evidence provided to the court was thorough, clear, compelling and to the point and resulted in the client achieving a successful outcome.”
“I would recommend Air Environment for any matter involving the detailed analysis and interpretation of meteorological data and the development of atmospheric meteorological models.”
Air Environment’s approach could be used as a template for all future air quality assessments.
I was the Principal lawyer acting for the A.P. Eagers Group of companies in civil proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland ( BC 7900/16 Associated Finance and Ors -v- Industrial Galvanisers).
The case proceeded to trial in June 2019.
AP Eagers commissioned Air Environment to investigate the source and cause of air emission impacts at their motor vehicle and parts distribution centre in Pinkenba, Queensland. The impacts related to damage to property including buildings and motor vehicle assets at the distribution centre site and also impacts to the health of AP Eagers’ employees. Through a series of enquiries and field investigations, Air Environment determined that the causes of the damage to property and impact to worker health were various, periodic air emission releases from the neighbouring industrial facility.
Air Environment, led by Director and Principal Consultant Andrew Balch, worked on the case in collaboration with Dr. Peter Forster of Strategen JBS&G. The experts investigated the issues using a range of qualitative and quantitative scientific methods, including complex and innovative air sampling and testing techniques, to determine the source and likely pathway of the air emissions. The investigations provided the foundations for a series of expert reports and joint expert reports to the court and concluded in the provision of expert testimony to the court during the trial.
Throughout the two-year investigation I found Andrew Balch and the Air Environment team to be highly professional in providing clear information, results and conclusions at each stage allowing the client , with advice from our legal team, to make strategic decisions in the conduct of their litigation and to brief the Queens Counsel for trial.
Andrew’s reporting and evidence provided to the court was thorough, clear, compelling and to the point and resulted in the client achieving a successful outcome.
I would not hesitate in recommending Air Environment to advise on matters regarding air quality impact assessment and emissions monitoring and management. I recommend Andrew Balch as an expert for air quality assessments and to provide expert reports and evidence in court proceedings.
Air Environment conducted an odour impact assessment of TasWater’s newly upgraded Blackmans Bay Sewage Treatment Plant, located south of Hobart in Tasmania. The assessment was initiated upon the commissioning of the upgraded plant as a condition of the its Environmental Protection License, to confirm compliance with the Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality).
The assessment comprised a thorough odour emissions sampling survey of all plant sources, odour testing in Air Environment’s state-of-the-art odour laboratory, and a comprehensive odour dispersion modelling assessment.
Both the odour impact assessment report and all meteorological and dispersion model files were comprehensively reviewed by EPA Tasmania’s Air Modelling Specialists.
George Fitzgibbon said “nice work” in response to positive feedback to TasWater from EPA. In their correspondence to TasWater, EPA stated that “Our Air Specialists are particularly impressed with the methodology and quality of the Odour Report and have commented that it could be used as a template for future similar requirements”.
We continuously strive to provide our clients with the highest quality of work, and we are pleased to receive such high praise for our efforts, particularly from the experts at EPA.
I was FRV’s Development Lead for the Chaff Mill Solar Farm, a renewable energy project proposed for the Mintaro region of the Clare Valley in South Australia. FRV commissioned Air Environment to assist the project’s development application process in March 2019. They conducted an assessment of the local climatology, and the potential for the project to affect cold air drainage flows, leading to increased frost damage to neighbouring agricultural properties.
The local community surrounding the proposed solar farm site identified frost formation as a key issue for agriculture in the region. In response to the project’s initial Development Application Report, submissions from neighbouring property owners suggested that the solar panel array and the site’s boundary security fence had the potential to affect cold air drainage flow patterns across the regional landscape. This, they argued, could lead to an increased risk of frost damage to the crops growing on properties upwind of the solar farm site.
Air Environment, conducted a range of complex and innovative analyses including topographical modelling, slope and drainage flow analysis, and review of regional meteorological observations. They then developed a fine scale meteorological model of the local area to identify flows occurring during potential frost events and to describe their effects. Finally, they determined the potential for flows to be blocked by the fence surrounding the proposed farm and by the solar panel array itself.
Air Environment’s Director and Principal Consultant, Andrew Balch, also provided expert evidence and support to FRV at a public hearing of the South Australia Planning Commission in June 2019. At the hearing, the commission heard from the proponent, environmental and planning experts and the local community on the potential effects of the proposed renewable energy project. Andrew clearly presented a summary of his assessment of the local meteorological flows and work on frost generation potential before answering technical questions put forth by the public and commissioners.
Throughout the investigation I found the Air Environment team of Andrew Balch and Michael Power to be highly professional. They understood the unusual nature of the local community’s claims and following a data-led approach were able to thoroughly investigate the issue using a variety of innovative approaches. They provided clear and robust information with confidence allowing FRV to make strategic decisions and pass the information on to the Planning Commission and community. Air Environment’s evidence, presented both in written form and as testimony before the Planning Commission Panel, proved to be authoritative and highly defensible. It played a key role in obtaining the subsequent approval of the Chaff Mill Solar Farm Project in January 2020.
I would recommend Air Environment for any matter involving the detailed analysis and interpretation of meteorological data and the development of atmospheric meteorological models. In particular they have proved to be flexible in following a complex and uncertain data trail to a successful conclusion, and are expert in presenting their results in clearly written and authoritative reports and in testifying within tribunal settings.