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Air Quality Modeling and Analysis

Air quality is regulated by both Federal and California laws (the Clean Air Act and California Clean Air Act) and by regional air quality management districts. CEQA and NEPA also require developers to perform air quality modeling and associated analysis to receive permits for the construction and operations of a new facility or piece of equipment. The results of these assessments are used to ensure that all new sources of air emissions remain below legal thresholds.

ECORP has completed hundreds of air quality reports to help our clients receive the needed approvals and permits from air quality management districts and lead agencies throughout California as part of our Air Quality Modeling and Analysis Services.

Air Quality Modeling and Analysis: Table with a summary of criteria air pollutants, their sources and effects
Table with a summary of criteria air pollutants, their sources and effects from the California Air Pollution Control Offices Association.

Air Quality Modeling and Analysis Services for New Facilities

Before a new facility can be built, project proponents must prepare an Air Quality Impact Assessment (AQIA) to estimate emissions of air pollutants (criteria air pollutants) and compare them to thresholds set by the local air quality management districts. ECORP creates AQIAs by using air emissions modeling software to estimate the criteria air pollutants that would be generated from the project’s construction and operations.

Air Quality and Toxic Air Contaminants

Some types of development, such as gas stations, industrial operations, and development with heavy truck traffic, emit Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) that also require additional evaluation. If a project has the potential to emit TACs, we perform a health risk assessment to determine whether they will pose a danger to human health at or around the project site.

If emissions exceed legal limits or health risks are identified, we recommend mitigation measures to reduce air emissions to meet the thresholds established by the local air quality management district, if possible.

Air Quality Modeling and Analysis: Wind turbines near the Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Line
Wind turbines near the Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Line.

NSR Permitting for New Stationary Sources Added to an Existing Facility

After the facility is constructed, any new equipment must be permitted for use before installation. There are two types of permits that may be required. The first is for stationary sources of air emissions such as a boiler, incinerator, generator, or smelter. These permits are granted by the local agencies through the New Source Review (NSR) process.

NSR permits differ based on the number of pollutants a stationary source creates and whether or not mitigation measures have been taken to reduce those levels. 

Air Quality Modeling and Analysis: Pollution plot graphs illustrate the effects of wind speed on the direction of particulate concentrations from a stationary source of air pollutants
Pollution plot graphs illustrate the effects of wind speed on the direction of particulate concentrations from a stationary source of air pollutants.

There are three primary types of NSR permits, including:

Air Quality Modeling and Analysis: A time series graph uses public air quality and meteorological data to present the effects of wind speed on particulate concentrations over time.
A time series graph uses public air quality and meteorological data to present the effects of wind speed on particulate concentrations over time.

Mobile Source Air Modeling, Analysis, and Permitting

Mobile sources of air emissions are those which move around a facility, such as diesel trucks or gas-powered vehicles. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) oversees the approval of these permits, which include:

Contact ECORP to Learn More About Air Quality Modeling and Analysis

Whether you need a permit to begin new construction or expand on existing facilities, ECORP’s air quality experts provide air quality analysis and modeling services designed to help builders, developers, and facility operators complete the legally required reports needed for CEQA, NEPA, and other permitting purposes.

Contact ECORP today to learn more about how our air quality modeling and analysis services can help you get the permits needed to move forward on your next project.