Air Quality and Air Quality Assessments
Our consultants have widespread experience of both ambient air and atmospheric emission monitoring. We have investigated and evaluated air quality problems and odour and nuisance complaints and we have also undertaken a wide range of atmospheric impact assessments throughout Ireland. In certain instances our assessments are undertaken as part of the planning or EIA process and/or environmental licence application. In some of these cases we have acted as advisers and consultants to the developers or the licensing or planning authority and we have supported these clients from preliminary review right up to oral hearings and the operational and monitoring stages of development.
We have also been responsible for monitoring ambient dioxins, monitoring workplace air quality, monitoring process and fugitive emissions and assessing the efficiency of abatement equipment and raw material substitution programmes.
As an integral part of atmospheric assessments, MOLONEY & ASSOCIATES Acoustic & Environmental Consultants, have undertaken odour assessments for many clients throughout Ireland. This has involved screening and computer modelling techniques in the assessment of different types of projects.
Using an air dispersion model, it is possible to predict the downwind odour concentrations on the basis of odour emission rates, topography and meteorological data. In essence, odour impact assessment uses inputs of source odour concentration, ventilation rate and emission strength (odour emission rates), topographical information together with meteorological data and air dispersion software to model odour dispersion circa the source. Odour impact areas can be defined by plotting isopleths of odour concentration corresponding to selected values for odour impact criteria, and/or Ground Level Concentrations can be predicted at specific locations.
Not all projects will require a full quantitative assessment and screening assessments can sometimes eliminate the need for detailed computer modelling. An identification of typical odour emission rates can be used to derive an estimate of the distance at which odour emissions may give rise to complaints. In some instances, sites are relatively remote and the emissions are so low as to be unlikely to give reasonable grounds for complaint.
Normally the odour assessment work is undertaken at the planning stage or as part of an EIS, however, we also provide and undertake odour and air quality monitoring assessments in response to complaints and/or licensing or planning requirements. In some instances these cases may lead to litigation and we have first hand experience of odour nuisance and air quality litigation.