Tuesday 23rd of February 2021 | Posted In: Energy saving, Renewable energy, Use and Manage

Do you need an Air Quality Assessment?

Are you installing a new combustion plant? Applying for planning permission or an environmental permit for your combustion plant? Do you require an environmental risk assessment? We have seen Regulators moving away from simple D1 Stack Height assessments and increasing the amount of air quality dispersion modelling assessments required for both planning permission and environmental permit applications.

What is dispersion modelling?

For each new combustion project, you may have to complete an assessment of the plants impact on the local area, including the influence of new and existing buildings, distances of vulnerable habitats, and human health risks. This involves modelling emission data, site infrastructure, and associated activities also subjected to compliance to help decision makers understand the associated project risks.

How do you know if you need it?

Site’s may undergo various levels of screening to determine if an air quality assessment is required. Critically, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

Screening for Boilers

Determines which emissions should be modelled if any of the following habitats are within screening distance:

  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within 2km;
  • Special Protected Area (SPA) within 5km;
  • Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within 5km;
  • Ramsar (wetland conservation area) within 5km;
  • Local or National Nature Reserve (LNR/NNR) within 2km; and
  • Ancient Woodland within 2km.

Screening for Engines

Determines if dispersion modelling is needed if human and/or habitat receptors are vulnerable (screening distance dependant on flue stack and building heights):

  • Closest human health receptor; and
  • SSSI, SAC, SPA and Ramsar habitats within 5km.

Each screening process can also determine if the plant’s impact is considered low or high risk to the local receptors, and, therefore, if dispersion modelling is required.

Can we help you?

Whether it is the assessment of a combustion plant, anaerobic digestion, or intensive farming operation, we can assist you with your screening and risk assessment needs. We offer a variety of services to tailor your project to its regulatory assessment requirements:

  • Combustion, Waste, and Intensive Farming Environmental Permit Risk Assessments.
  • Vulnerable Habitat Screening Assessment.
  • Habitat and Human Receptor Impact Dispersion Modelling.
  • Planning Permission Environmental Impact Assessments.
  • D1 Stack Height Calculator Assessments.

Our environmental permit application service includes screening as standard, and we will advise you if further assessments are required.

If you have any queries about whether you should be considering environmental risk assessments for a new or planned boiler, please call the NFU Energy team on 024 7669 8899.