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Assessing air quality impacts on habitats: CIEEM/IAQM Guidance Consultation

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Insight into the guidance and further discussion on particular chapters by the authors of the guidance.
Presented by:
Dr James Riley, Sarah Horrocks and Phil Davidson
24th May 2017

Published in: Environment
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Assessing air quality impacts on habitats: CIEEM/IAQM Guidance Consultation

  1. 1. Assessing air quality impacts on habitats CIEEM/IAQM Guidance Consultation 26 May 2017 1 Dr James Riley, AECOM Sarah Horrocks, Atkins Phil Davidson, WSP (ex PBA)
  2. 2. Introduction Dr. James Riley, AECOM – ecologist, 10 year focus on traffic-related air quality for projects and Local Plans, also point-source permitting. PI, JR and DCO examinations. CIEEM member. Sarah Horrocks, Atkins – air quality specialist, industrial permit applications and road/planning applications. Evidence at PI and DCO examinations. IAQM member. Philip Davidson, WSP (formerly PBA) – ecologist, industrial permit applications. PI work. CIEEM member. 26 May 2017 2 Speakers
  3. 3. Introduction Initial 3-person core, plus reviewers (Dr. Caroline Chapman, DTA; Dr. Nick Betson, RPS) Co-authorship of all chapters CIEEM & IAQM members working group CIEEM PSC and IAQM Committee involvement Statutory body consultation (via AQTAG forum) Now - IAQM/CIEEM members consultation 26 May 2017 3 Drafting process
  4. 4. What we hope to achieve Key messages from 2015 meeting: • Misapplication of screening criteria as significance criteria - especially 1% • Limited knowledge among ecologists of critical levels and critical loads and what they imply • Need clear and concise advice and not repeat or contradict what is already out there! • Roadmap for users 26 May 2017 4 Bridging the gap
  5. 5. Key Challenges • Large differences in level of technical knowledge between disciplines and among practitioners • Different legislation and interpretation in England, Wales, Scotland and NI • The Ashdown Forest Case and implications for screening and assessment of cumulative impacts 26 May 2017 5 Providing clear direction
  6. 6. Chapters 2 to 4 Calculating AQ impacts 26 May 2017 6 Sarah Horrocks
  7. 7. Ch2 – AQ & Ecology • High level overview of pollutants and their effects on ecosystems / vegetation • Outlines key pollutants emission sources, legislation • Ecological impacts – direct toxicity, indirect (nutrient /acid deposition) • NOx, SO2, NH3 (intensive farming) - critical levels • Nitrogen and acid deposition - critical loads • Other pollutants - HCl, HF – not in detail 26 May 2017 7 Main contents
  8. 8. Key processes 26 May 2017 8
  9. 9. Critical levels and loads • Critical level: • applies to atmospheric pollutant concentrations • a level fixed on the basis of scientific knowledge, above which direct adverse effects may occur on some receptors, such as trees, other plants or natural ecosystems but not on humans (EU Directive) • Critical load: • applies to nutrient or acid deposition rate (flux) • a quantitative estimate of exposure to one or more pollutants below which significant harmful effects on specified sensitive elements of the environment do not occur according to present knowledge (UNECE) 26 May 2017 9 Definitions
  10. 10. Ch 3 - Collaboration • When this can and should take place – 3 stages • Who can do what and when: 26 May 2017 10 Main contents • Share information • Selection of sites Project Initiation • Receptor locations • Assessment criteria Air quality assessment • Handover of results • Understand uncertainty Ecological assessment
  11. 11. Chapter 3 - Collaboration • Collaboration can help with: • Avoiding repetition of tasks, • Gaining additional information about the site • Ensuring consistency across assessments • Helping with selection of values from APIS • Finding out early about stakeholder concerns • Improving understanding of each others’ needs • Cross checking/reporting of results in e.g. HRA 26 May 2017 11 Benefits
  12. 12. Ch 4 – AQ Calculations • Different approaches for different application stages (permitting vs planning) • Different screening criteria for different scheme types (industrial vs roads vs agriculture) • Different assessment criteria for different habitat types in different conditions and locations • Not all guidance that is applied is publicly available (e.g. AQTAG) • Understanding when an AQ specialist can screen out and where potential effects cannot be dismissed 26 May 2017 12 AQ assessment challenges
  13. 13. Ch 4 – AQ Calculations • Approaches to assessment and available guidance • Scoping – is an assessment required? • Screening – simple model to determine insignificance, rule out impacts early on • Detailed – advanced modelling to provide robust answer, calculate deposition from concentration • Application of “screening” criteria • Process contributions (PC) and predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) • De-myth the 1% (and 70%) thresholds 26 May 2017 13 Main contents
  14. 14. Ch4 - AQ considerations Future air quality situation is uncertain • should you reduce background? • what emission rates to apply? Common pitfalls • inter-annual variation • receptor location How to address effects of other schemes? • in combination/cumulative • The Ashdown Forest Case 26 May 2017 14
  15. 15. The gap to be bridged… 26 May 2017 15 A road viaduct is proposed over a bog habitat
  16. 16. DMRB assessment Distance from SAR Centreline (m) Total Nitrogen Deposition Rate (kg N/Ha/year) Road Contribution (kg N/Ha/year) Road Contribution as % of Total Nitrogen Deposition Rate Critical Load Critical Load Exceedance Range 6 10.64 0.14 1.3% 5 - 10 5.64 to 0.64 10 10.62 0.12 1.1% 5 – 10 5.62 to 0.62 20 10.59 0.09 0.8% 5 – 10 5.59 to 0.59 30 10.57 0.07 0.7% 5 – 10 5.57 to 0.57 40 10.56 0.06 0.6% 5 – 10 5.56 to 0.56 50 10.54 0.04 0.4% 5 – 10 5.54 to 0.54 60 10.53 0.03 0.3% 5 – 10 5.53 to 0.53 70 10.53 0.03 0.3% 5 – 10 5.53 to 0.53 80 10.52 0.02 0.2% 5 – 10 5.52 to 0.52 90 10.52 0.02 0.2% 5 – 10 5.52 to 0.52 100 10.51 0.01 0.1% 5 - 10 5.51 to 0.51 26 May 2017 16 Lots of numbers generated and criteria to chose from!
  17. 17. Selection of critical load According to APIS website, modifying factors should be considered when selecting which part of the critical load range (5 to 10 kg N/ha/yr) should apply. In this case, the bog is: • in favourable condition, • with a high water table, • a rainfall range of 759 to 1285 mm, so • a critical load of 9 kg N/ha/yr can be applied. 26 May 2017 17 Getting bogged down…
  18. 18. Chapters 5 and 6 Determine ecological effects and mitigation 26 May 2017 18 Phil Davidson
  19. 19. Ch 5- Ecology Assessment 26 May 2017 19 Purpose • Advice to support the ecological assessment • A framework that can be understood by both ecologists and air quality specialists • Helpful examples and references
  20. 20. Ch 5 – Ecology Assessment 26 May 2017 20 Main Contents • Sets out a series of recommended steps for assessing a potentially significant air quality impact • Identifies factors that may increase or decrease the ecological effects of an air quality exceedance • Provides advice on consultation • Refers to relevant literature and project examples
  21. 21. 26 May 2017 21 Assessment steps
  22. 22. Ch 5 – Ecology Assessment 26 May 2017 22 Opportunities and Pitfalls • One size doesn’t fit all – but an opportunity to help guide • Inherent complexities in underlying science – translate into a practical approach • Proportionality and the precautionary approach • Small increments and cumulative effects • Different approaches by different regulators
  23. 23. Ch 6 – Mitigation 26 May 2017 23 Purpose • Set out possible techniques with examples • Consider the mitigation hierarchy • Identify interactions with EcIA and HRA
  24. 24. Ch 6 – Mitigation 26 May 2017 24 Approach Taken • Mitigation Hierarchy should be followed • Avoidance/Prevention • Mitigation • Compensation / Off-setting (where appropriate) • Consideration of monitoring
  25. 25. Ch 6 – Mitigation 26 May 2017 25
  26. 26. Members consultation Thank you for listening! 26 May 2017 26 Now for some questions…
  27. 27. Things to think about Does it help you understand differences in various assessment types? Do you feel more informed about the other discipline’s needs and assessment? Does it clearly describe the steps you will need to take to calculate / interpret results? Does it increase your confidence in dealing with air quality outputs? Would it benefit from more information on dose-response relationships? 26 May 2017 27 When reading the draft document:
  28. 28. You can contribute! Do you have any good examples of • collaboration between disciplines? • papers on dose-response? • mitigation of impacts? • monitoring of effects? • practical examples? 26 May 2017 28
  29. 29. 26 May 2017 29 Questions / Discussion

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