Air Quality 101 for Land Use Planners

Site Plan approval for a proposed development includes a host of studies and an environmental air quality study may be required.  Is there a perceived air quality issue due to incompatible land use when the zoning is changed from industrial to residential?  Is the proposed site in close proximity to an odorous facility such as a sewage treatment plant, a waste transfer station, a landfill, a fast food outlet or a farming operation?

The prospect of construction of a large manufacturing complex, of large residential and retail development sites and of infrastructure projects such as roads, transit corridors, and waste handling facilities can give rise to environmental concerns.  Nuisance dust, odours, noise and vibration are issues that may require resolution and mitigation. 

Rational and knowledgeable characterization of the perceived environmental issue is an important first step in addressing these concerns.  Definitive, scientifically based, qualified expert opinion on the perceived issues can characterize and resolve the issues before they potentially escalate to an unwanted emotional political outcome.

Air quality practitioners utilize established methods and tools to address and resolve these types of air quality issues.  Air quality experts are knowledgeable in contaminant emissions, odours, dust, air dispersion modelling, impact assessment and the monitoring of these pollutants.  These methods are applied to define the environmental issues and the findings are interpreted using published guidelines, such as the Ontario Ministry of the Environmental and Climate Change “D” Series Land Use Compatibility Guidelines,  to come to a qualified conclusion, which may or may not require mitigation.

ORTECH has the experience, qualifications and resources to assist developers, planners and construction and construction management groups in providing the air quality expertise and provide services to satisfy project schedules and plans.

 

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