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Air Quality Assessment and Permitting

The Clean Air Act (CAA) places stringent air emission requirements on industry. These already stringent requirements are becoming more stringent with phased changes in legislative and regulatory requirements. These changes mandate the reduction in emissions of air toxics, particulates, chlorofluorocarbons, and pollutants which contribute to acid precipitation.

ECA has experience in conducting air emission inventories, air quality assessments, and permitting under the CAA. ECA professionals conduct air emission inventories, calculate potential to emit using EPA emission factors, and complete Title V air permits where necessary. ECA engineers can also conduct ambient air monitoring, environmental assessments involving air quality issues, and process and control audits for existing facilities. ECA has compiled emission estimates and has provided permit applications for many proposed and existing facilities. ECA can also perform indoor air quality assessments. Several of these activities are described below.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIONS

ECA compliance specialists review facility permits, processes, current EPA emissions factors, and trade literature to evaluate facility compliance with applicable air quality rules. ECA compliance specialists work with individuals in the client's organization to determine the permit status and actual conditions at individual facilities. ECA prepares preliminary investigation reports that document the facility review and relevant facility compliance issues.

AMBIENT AIR MONITORING

ECA air monitoring specialists, in cooperation with the client, have designed and implemented cost effective and innovative monitoring programs designed to accurately quantify air pollutant levels. Because monitoring data is critical in evaluating occupational and ambient exposures, accurate, reliable, and economical data is important in addressing air-quality issues. ECA monitoring programs are carefully designed and implemented to practically and cost-effectively monitor on-site air quality. As monitoring results are obtained, data is reviewed to evaluate whether site-specific conditions are in compliance with federal, state, and local occupational and environmental regulations.

EMISSIONS INVENTORIES

Federal and state regulations require that facility equipment be evaluated for emissions and potential emissions. If emissions exceed regulatory thresholds, air permitting is required. To evaluate air emissions, ECA conducts air emission inventories. Air emission inventories include specification and quantification of primary process emission sources, fugitive emission sources, and process by-product emission sources. ECA specialists have accurately compiled emissions inventories for a broad cross-section of industrial clients. The firm's advanced team of air quality professionals and compliance specialists can review facility processes and operations. If necessary, ECA engineers design monitoring programs to quantify emissions from various sources. Based on monitoring data, ECA generates process-based emission models that can be manipulated to estimate facility emissions.

PERMITTING

The construction of new air emission sources, modifications to existing sources, and some process alterations may require that new permits be obtained or that existing permits be revised. If preliminary investigations and monitoring suggest that a facility is not in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, or if a new source is to be constructed, ECA professionals assist the client in obtaining the appropriate permits for the proposed facility operations. Permit applications typically include information on the identity and quantity of pollutants being released, and the steps being taken to reduce emissions. ECA's staff assists the client in understanding the regulatory requirements of the permitting process and in presenting, clarifying, and negotiating technical issues of the permit with federal, state, and local officials.

ALTERNATIVE PROCESSES

Waste reduction and product substitution, when available, are the most practical and cost effective solutions to industrial pollution. With this in mind, ECA provides process evaluation and process engineering consultation to assist our clients in developing progressive pollution prevention solutions. ECA works hand-in-hand with clients in developing alternative processes for waste reduction. Where such alternatives are not feasible, ECA develops offsets, which decrease pollution in other processes to the point of decreasing the overall air pollution output at a facility. In this way, the client can modify air pollution in one or more processes and maintain compliance with federal and state regulations. ECA is knowledgeable and experienced in developing alternative programs to meet the stringent air monitoring requirements of the CAA.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor air-quality analysis is performed primarily to evaluate if indoor air quality meets occupational standards established by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, indoor air monitoring may also be performed to determine the presence of radon, airborne asbestos fibers or other harmful substances. ECA performs indoor air-quality monitoring at industrial, commercial, and multi-family residential properties. Indoor air-quality monitoring data collected by ECA has been successfully utilized by clients to demonstrate compliance with indoor air-quality standards and to certify that no airborne asbestos fibers remain in residential or commercial facilities after removal of asbestos-containing materials.

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Environmental & NEPA
Marvin Webster, MES, REP
(770) 667-2040 x 101

Wetlands & Ecology
Ben Salter, MS, REP, PWS
(828) 505-0755

Environmental & NEPA
Eric Johnson
(770) 667-2040 x 114

History & Archaeology
Dina M. Bazzill, MA, RPA
(770) 667-2040 x 111

Geotechnical & Engineering
Hector A. Acosta, MSCE, PE
(770) 667-2040 x 110

Architectural History
Jaime Destefano, MS
(615) 255-0065