We believe in sustainable design, which can be achieved by protecting the environment while benefiting society and the economy. We work to preserve and enhance air quality while promoting a healthy economy.
There are two general ways we can help:
1. Complete Air Permitting Services
From initial assessment to permit award, we have the tools and expertise to help you through each phase of the permitting process. There are 3 main categories of services. Each of these categories represents a complex process of permitting. Click any of them to read more.
From initial assessments through permit issuance, we can help. Here is a little more information about each step in the process:
Emission Impact AnalysisThe initial permitting assessment includes the calculation of emissions from a proposed project. These emission estimates are calculated based on operational information from the facility and available emission factors obtained from performance testing data or published sources.
Regulatory Applicability/ Permit AssessmentOnce emission calculations have been established these values have to be compared to the applicable permitting thresholds. This will determine the type of permit that is necessary for a given project.
Permitting StrategyThis is a critical step in the permitting process where the timing, cost and potential delays from the available options are discussed and a course of action is determined. For example, in some cases it is possible to establish operational or emission limitations to avoid a lengthy permitting process. CPP assists clients in assessing the permitting options available and choosing the most suitable strategy that includes contingency options.
Application processOnce a strategy is determined, CPP assists clients in preparing the air permit application to the regulatory agency. This application package may include dispersion modeling evaluations.
Agency negotiationOnce a permit application is submitted to the regulatory agency, CPP assists clients negotiate permit terms that provide operational flexibility and minimize recordkeeping and reporting. Additionally, CPP provides response to regulatory and technical questions that arise during the permitting process.
Public commentSome types of permits require public involvement before issuance. In those cases CPP assists in responding to comments raised by the public or stakeholder groups about the specific project.
Permit issuanceOnce a permit is issued it is necessary to understand the requirements that may include notifications, emission and operational limitations, recordkeeping, and reporting. CPP assists clients understanding and to be in compliance with their permit by providing training and management tools.
2. Advanced Air Modeling Services
The Clean Air Act (CAA) was established by Congress to protect public health and welfare. As a result of the CAA and more recent air regulations, there has been a significant decrease in air pollution in the country.
However, air quality regulations, such as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), have become more complex and stringent in the last few years, posing a significant challenge to economic activity. For example, the recent short-term NAAQS are much more difficult to meet than the original longer-term standards. This is because the conservative assumptions in AERMOD, EPA’s accepted regulatory model, are more critical when dealing with these very stringent short-term standards. Many studies have shown that the results from AERMOD significantly overestimate ambient concentrations. Some of the currently-used assumptions that can cause significant overpredictions include:
- Unrealistic building downwash effects calculated by the Building Profile Input Program for PRIME (BPIP) used by AERMOD
- Assuming continuous maximum emissions
- Pairing maximum background concentrations with the modeled (predicted) values
- Simplistic haul road characterization
- Inappropriate wind speeds to characterize wind-blown dust from storage piles
- Inappropriate friction velocity to characterize low speed winds under stable conditions
If your project has stalled because of modeling requirements or if you need an alternative to less-accurate, overly-conservative modeling methods, we have scientifically-based, validated alternatives that can support your project while protecting air quality. Some of our advanced modeling services include:
- Equivalent Building Dimensions (EBD)
- Emission Variability Processor (EMVAP)
- Background concentrations for AERMOD
- Haul road characterizations based on site-specific dispersion
- Fugitive dust and particulate emissions from storage piles and exposed areas
- The adjusted friction velocity option in AERMET
Whether you need complete air permitting expertise or our advanced air modeling services, CPP has the unique knowledge, experience, and tools to help you navigate the complex air permitting process.