Environmental Assessment

Where the permitting process looks at the impact of a single facility on the surrounding environment and addresses regulatory issues, environmental assessment is broader in scope: it looks to evaluate the sources of discharge to the environment and encompasses all affected environmental compartments. These broader assessments of impact to the environment generally involve input from many specialized disciplines, and are often coordinated by a consulting or engineering group responsible for assemblinbg the required disciplines to execute the total project. CEMC contributes our expertise to the meteorological and air dispersion aspects of such larger environmental assessments.

Long Range Transport Studies

The emission of pollutants from large sources and whole regions can travel hundreds of kilometres, affecting the air quality in neighbouring jurisdictions and can also lead to chemical transformations which form ozone and acidic precipitation, impacting whole regions and countries. Some of the studies to which we have contributed include:

Noranda Horne Smelter, Quebec

Study of the acid rain and heavy metal impact of the Noranda Horne smelter in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. CEMC set up a monitoring network within Quebec to measure air concentrations of sulphur dioxide, sulphates, and metals such as mercury and precipitation sampling for sulphate, nitrate and acidity. We developed the Trans Lagrangian model for the transport and generation of acidifying pollutants to map out the overall impact on the surrounding environment.

Nanticoke and Lakeview Power Plants, Ontario

Modelling study of the long range transport from the Nanticoke and Lakeview power plants for Ontario Hydro (OPG).

Tar Sands, Alberta and Saskatchewan

Modelling study of the long range transport from the Tar Sands operations on Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Ontario Ministry of Environment, Environment Canada

Development of the Eastern Canada emissions inventory and the meteorological component of the ADOM Eulerian model under contract to the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Environment Canada.

Ontario Ministry of Environment

Development of detailed nitrogen oxides and toxic chemical emission inventories for Ontario Ministry of Environment.

Vale Inco, Sudbury

Evaluation of the impact of the Vale Inco smelter metal emissions on nickel concentrations and depositions in areas surrounding New York City.


Meteorological and Climatological Studies

The development of meteorological information for regional studies in valley and shoreline locations involves measurement and modelling studies of the flow regimes and dispersal characteristics, and subsequent modelling of contaminant dispersion. CEMC has conducted the following studies:

Hat Creek, British Columbia

CEMC carried out a study of the complex flows in the Hat Creek, BC mountain valley using minisonde and tetroon instruments, as well as surface and tower observations for BC Hydro. This involved setting up a meteorological network to determine the slope flows and circulation flows within the valley and their interaction with the flows outside the valley, and involved 4 seasonal campaigns to characterize the detailed flow structures.

Teck Lead Smelter, Trail

We carried out a study of the valley flows within the Columbia Valley at Trail and developed a model to simulate dispersion of sulphur dioxide in the complex flow regimes for the Teck Lead Smelter.

Nanticoke and Lakeview Power Plants, Ontario

We carried out field studies to characterize the shoreline dispersion environment at Lake Erie, and developed a Shoreline Fumigation Model to predict the impact of the OPG thermal power plants at Nanticoke and Lakeview.


Modelling Support

Dispersion modelling is required for regulatory compliance demonstration, source performance assessment and design, environmental assessment, hazard risk assessment, and forensic evaluation. This diverse range of applications requires a range of different types of models, such as the regulatory models (AERMOD, ISCST3, Reg 346), Puff models such CALPUFF, denser than air models such as DEGADIS, and Grid models such as CMAQ and CAMx. We have been involved in the application of these and similar models for thousands of projects. Our knowledge of the meteorological data and numerical products allows us to assemble the meteorological files to drive the models. This expertise and facility with the model internals allows us to better understand the performance and shortcomings of the models to permit application in specialized settings or conditions, and to ensure that the results are demonstrable. CEMC has also developed rapidAER, a specialized 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.


Monitoring Network Setup and Management

Monitoring of air contaminants is used to establish community exposure, to evaluate dispersion model performance, to test the adequacy of emission inventories, to establish regulatory compliance, and to provide feedback to operators in forecast-based control systems. CEMC has been involved in the design, implementation, testing, utilization and management of networks for both industry directed and community directed goals. We have conducted the design, evaluation, and utilization of networks for clients like Noranda Horne and Gaspé; Montreal East Industrial area; Vale Inco and Falconbridge in Sudbury and Timmins; Nanticoke; Hamilton; Syncrude in the Tar Sands, Algoma Ore in Wawa, Essar Steel in Sault Ste Marie, Irving Oil in Saint John and Tonolli in Mississauga. CEMC has also implemented operations control directed networks for Vale Inco and Falconbridge in Sudbury, Noranda Horne and Gaspé, and Algoma Wawa.


Regional Studies

Some of the regional studies which we have led or participated in include:

Sogamoso, Colombia

We participated in an assessment of the air quality problems in an industrialized valley to develop a plan for the improvement of the air quality in the city. This was a project sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  

Canadian Portland Cement Association

CEMC conducted an industry assessment of the implications of proposed regulations on the member facilities. We developed an emission inventory and performed a dispersion assessment of 6 different facilities.  

Mining Association of Canada

We provided assistance in the Workshop on Feasibility of Predicting the Long Range Transport and Deposition of Heavy Metals from the Canadian Base Metal Smelters (May 1997).  

Bamberg, Germany

Under contract to PACE (Petroleum Association for the Conservation of the Canadian Environment) we participated in the Modelling Workshop held by Work Group 1 of the CCME NOX/VOC Management Plan Committee in Bamberg, Germany, reporting on the implications of the committee deliberations to industry in general and the petroleum industry in particular.

Laval Industrial Association, Quebec

We conducted an evaluation of the air quality impact of 6 refineries in Montreal East, Quebec for the Laval Industrial Association, including emission inventory development and dispersion modelling. We also developed an assessment of alternative strategies for compliance with the newly enacted MUC regulations by the member companies located in Montreal East.

Hamilton, Ontario

Evaluation of the impact of industry and urban traffic in Hamilton, Ontario on the particulate levels affecting the city, including emission inventory development, particulate dispersion modelling, and measurement of particulate profiles in various urban settings.

Nanticoke region, Ontario

Evaluation of the combined impact of the industrial facilities in the Nanticoke region on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels.

Irving Refinery, New Brunswick

Evaluation of the impact of the Irving Refinery, New Brunswick on sulphur dioxide levels in Saint John.

Clarkson Airshed Study

Evaluation of the impact of the Petro-Canada Refinery, Mississauga, on regional sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels for the Clarkson Airshed Study.

Health Canada

CEMC developed the metal emissions and Calmet data for the Noranda Horne, Vale Inco and Teck Trail smelters regional assessments for Health Canada.

Inter-Provincial Crossings Study, Ottawa Hull

We developed current and projected traffic emission inventories and performed the modelling assessment for the Inter-provincial Crossings study of optimum bridge crossings from Ottawa to Hull.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Member of Review Panel set up by the US EPA to review the NAPAP emission inventory program and results, and make recommendations on the suitability of the emission inventory.