Air Permitting

All industrial facilities which have the potential to emit contaminants to the ambient air must obtain permission from the governing regulatory agency. In some cases getting a permit is a routine process, but increasingly it is becoming a more highly complex process which requires developing a credible emission inventory of all sources of a long list of contaminants, undertaking extensive modelling of dispersion, and preparing detailed applications to the Regulator. Very often these complex procedures will require input from qualified professionals both to prepare the application and to negotiate the terms of the permit.

advocacy with regulatory agencies

Most permits issued by a regulatory agency will include conditions on plant operations which impose extensive obligations on the facility and can be restrictive if they do not appropriately take into account the facility requirements. We have been involved in supporting negotiations between our clients and regulatory agencies for Comprehensive ECA and Control Order situations for facilities such as Petro-Canada (Mississauga), Essar Steel (Sault Ste Marie), Tonolli (Mississauga), Vale (Inco in Sudbury), Glencore (Xstrata, Falconbridge).


Dispersion Modeling for Regulation

Estimating the impact of emissions from a facility normally involves the use of approved models of dispersion and modelling protocols. Our thorough knowledge of the atmospheric processes which drive dispersion paired with an in-depth understanding of the details of model behaviour allow us to custom design or alter source configurations to satisfy regulatory criteria. Our expertise includes application of the following models:
  • EPA Gaussian models of AERMOD and its predecessors
  • CALMET and CALPUFF models
  • California roadway dispersion models
  • heavy gas models such as DEGADIS
  • grid models of meteorology and transport
Most of these complex modelling exercises require site specific meteorological data. We have extensive knowledge of the meteorological databases and NWP grid point data and the tools to prepare site-specific meteorological files for AERMOD and CALPUFF, and to obtain regulatory approval for the use of the site-specific data. We have also developed rapidAER, a modelling interface to AERMOD and a unique implementation of the AERMOD model which takes a fraction of the time to perform the extensive modelling required by regulations, and greatly facilitates the process of source configuration design.


Permitting and Compliance

The permitting process has become very complex, and can involve multi-pollutant and multi-media issues, technology assessment, specialized modelling, as well as interaction with the affected public and regulators at several levels of government.

Our familiarity with Ontario regulations, as well as regulatory agencies across North America comes from experience. We have prepared ESDM and application documents for facilities such as Suncor, Essar Steel, Tonolli, Bombardier, NEM LNG. We have provided the modelling and design support for many facilities such as Honda of Canada Mfg., St. Mary’s Cement, Mancuso Chemicals, Miller HMA and Quarry operations, Humber Water Treatment Plant, Enwave, Creemore Brewery, and Carpenter Foam.

For more information, see Industries We Serve.


Process Emission Inventory Development

The facility level emission inventory starts with a detailed knowledge of the processes and operations which are typical of the industry and their specific implementation within the facility, and experience in developing estimates of emissions for these or similar processes. We have developed facility level emission inventories for:
petrochemical facilities Suncor Refinery, Sarnia; Petro-Canada Lubricants Plant, Mississauga; Petro-Canada Refinery, Oakville; Bulk Storage Terminals in Toronto, London and Sarnia
primary smelters Glencore (Xstrata, Falconbridge, Noranda Horne, Gaspe, and CEZ); Teck (Cominco) Lead Smelter at Trail
integrated steel plants Essar Steel (Algoma, Sault Ste Marie)
auto assembly plants Honda of Canada Manufacturing, Alliston; GM at Ste. Therese, Oshawa and St. Catharines
cement plants St. Mary’s, Bowmanville; Lafarge, Bath
chemical plants Mancuso, Niagara Falls
secondary lead smelters Tonolli, Mississauga
energy OPG at Nanticoke, LNG facility, Thorold
The emission estimates developed need to be proven to the regulatory agency, which can involve detailed process simulation, use of sampling data, or model estimation of emissions, such as the CAMM process in Ontario. We have carried out several CAMM studies on behalf of clients, and have been involved in extensive discussions to improve the process.