Recent Projects

Some examples of our recent project work prepared by our consultants are provided below. A map showing some of our recent project locations throughout Australia and beyond can be found here. 

Expert Witness - Housing Development Appeal - Raymond Terrance

Geordie was engaged as an expert by the DPIE in an appeal in the New South Wales Land & Environment Court relating to a large subdivision. The key issues for this matter related to the section of the development near a decommissioned landfill, as well as an existing landfill and composting operation and the potential for impacts on this area. 

Assessment of landfill gas generator systems

We performed assessments for two gas fired engine banks at landfills in Queensland, one near Ipswich, one near Townsville. The assessments included a variety of task including assessing existing and proposed new engines. We used a combination of stack test data and engine specifications to model the potential emissions using TAPM/CALMET/CALPUFF.

Expert Witness - Feedlot

Geordie recently acted as a expert witness in a matter relating to a proposed beef cattle feedlot and landscape supply operation in New South Wales. As an air quality expert Geordie reviewed the application material and prepared his expert report, participated in the Joint Expert Reporting Process (JER) and gave evidence at the hearing. 

Air quality impact assessment - Expansion of port 

We were engaged to perform an air quality assessment of a proposed modification to an existing port and loading complex in Queensland. The proposed modification included the construction of additional stockpile areas, new conveyor systems and associated equipment which would enable the modification to make use of the existing loading infrastructure. We estimated emissions using standard methods, and modelled potential impacts using TAPM/CALMET and CALPUFF. 

Expert Witness - Shipyard

Geordie recently acted as a expert witness in a matter relating to a modification to a shipyard in a sensitive receiving environment in New South Wales. His work involved reviewing the maintenance and repair activities performed on site, and working with the shipyards consultant to ensure that potential air quality issues were sufficiently mitigated through a combination of design and control options. Geordie prepared an expert report, participated in the Joint Expert Reporting Process (JER) and gave evidence at the hearing. 

Assessment of Dust Emissions from Concrete and Demolition Waste Recycling

We performed an assessment for a proposed operation that received, sorted, crushed and reused concrete and demolition waste. This involved visiting the site, estimating emissions from proposed uses using standard methods and modelling the site using CALPUFF. Through an iterative approach the site layout was optimised whilst considering sensitive receptor locations and proposed mitigation measures. 

Air Quality Screening - Asphalt Plant  

Recently we were engaged by a local government client to perform screening monitoring around an Asphalt plant in New South Wales with a view to determining what volatile organic compounds were present around the plant, as well as in the general area. Based on advice from Dr John Leeder of Leeder Analytical (for more information about Leeder Analytical click here ) we deployed a series of Radiello samplers and had these analysed by Leeder Analytical for multiple chemical species and then compared the average concentration of the species to compounds likely emitted from local sources and correlated the background testing location with the sites closer to the asphalt plant. 

Training - State Government

We were engaged by a government agency to provide odour and air quality training to its regulatory and operations officers. The training included an introduction to odour, a discussion on different odour sources, odour sampling and measurement and assessment, an overview of various odour control options and a series of case studies. 

Expert Advice -Peer Review - Meat Chicken Farm 

We were engaged by a client to perform a peer review of an air quality assessment for an expanding meat chicken farm. This involved reviewing test data collected on site, and also reviewing the assessment methodology (meteorological modelling using CALMET and dispersion modelling using CALPUFF) adopted by the proponent. Based on our findings, we made a number of recommendation to the client with regard to the suitability of the assessment and whether the results could be relied upon.  

Expert Advice - Buffer Assessment 

Our Government client engaged us to assist in the determination of suitable buffers for a style of intensive livestock operation. Based on a number of options provided by the client, we performed a number of modelling scenarios which helped optimise future assessment methods for defining buffers for new farms. 

Expert Advice - Odour Assessment 

We were engaged  to perform a peer review of an air quality assessment and to provide expert advice with regard to a legal matter in New South Wales. The scope of work included critically analysing a consulting report and expert report, and providing comment with regard to whether the methodology for meteorology, emissions and dispersion modelling used was consistent with best practice. Our review found that a number of elements of the work required rework before the data could be relied upon. 

Pump Station Odour Assessment - Sunshine Coast 

We were engaged to perform an odour assessment of a new pump station located in an industrial estate in Queensland. 

Using meteorological and dispersion modelling, we were able to determine that there was a risk of adverse impacts at existing workplaces. Based on the findings of the modelling, we reviewed options available to the client, and recommended odour control options which would enable the pump station to be constructed and operated with a low risk of adverse odour impacts. 

Weather Station Installation

Astute Environmental Consulting has installed a number of 10 metre weather stations in South East Queensland. This involves visiting the site to select a optimal location, and then returning and installing the station. The stations use Vaisala ultrasonic sensor packages which measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, pressure and humidity at 10 metres with the measured data being automatically stored in a cloud server. When required the server can be accessed via a web browser and the data interrogated online, or locally after downloading the data. The stations are useful for projects which include field odour surveys as they can receive and send SMS messages to provide near real time conditions. 

Expert Advice -Peer Review - Quarry 

We were engaged by a client to perform a peer review of an air quality assessment (air emissions including particulate matter) for a new Quarry in South East Queensland. In addition to reviewing the application report, we reviewed the meteorological data used in the modelling, the methods adopted including the emission estimation methods, and the model setup. Based on our findings, we made a number of recommendation to the client with regard to the suitability of the assessment and whether the results could be relied upon.  

Meteorological Analysis 

Our client engaged us to review on site weather data from a weather station and compare the data to data generated by a prognostic meteorological model. We obtained the on site data and ran TAPM and CALMET. We then compared the data set using standard statistical indexes including BIAS, Index of Agreement, Skill and Root Mean Square Error and concluded that the model compared well to the observed data in the area in which the site was located. 

Meat Chicken Farm Expansion 

Our client engaged us to assist in preparing an application to expand an existing meat chicken farm. This involved supervising odour sampling at the existing sheds, analysing the test data, analysing ventilation data, modelling the farm using CALPUFF and preparing a report for submission to the regulator. 

Dust Assessment - Feed Mill 

We were engaged to perform and air quality assessment to assess dust emissions associated with the upgrade of a Feed Mill on the Darling Downs. This included emission estimation for the proposed operation, selection of a representative meteorological year, meteorological modelling using TAPM and CALMET and dispersion modeling using CALPUFF. A site visit confirmed that the primary source of dust was associated with the unpaved roads on site. While on site we observed the water truck being used which confirmed that if used frequently, the risk of dust emissions associated with the road would be minimal. We therefore we recommended potential dust controls including the continued use of the water truck and also potential other options including the use of dust suppression products. 

Biofilter Management Plan 

Our client engaged us to prepare a biofilter commissioning and operation plan for a composting site. This included identifying appropriate operational parameters (including airflow) and providing recommendations with regard to ongoing management to ensure odour impacts associted with the site did not occur. 

Third Party Review 

We were engaged to review emissions estimation and meteorological and dispersion modelling of a petrol station. We reviwed the air quality assessment and provided third party advice in response to comments provided by the local Council. This included examining local weather data, reviewing emissions and CALMET and CALPUFF model input and output files. Once complete we provided comments to the client with regard to the suitability of the assessment. 

Field Odour Surveys

We have been performing ongoing odour surveys during mornings and evenings for a client outside of Brisbane in South East Queensland. The purpose of the surveys is to assess impacts on a development site from a nearby operation. We have been recording odour intensity at various locations using the VDI intensity methodology. These data have been used to gauge the impact on this site from the nearby operation and to also assess the impact relative to other sites in the area. We have also performed odour surveys at numerous locations in Queensland and New South Wales. 

Sewage Pump Station - Brisbane City 

We were engaged to perform an odour assessment of a new pump station located near the Brisbane CBD. 

We selected a representative meteorological year and using a combination of observed data, TAPM, CALMET and CALPUFF we modelled a series of scenarios which included vent stacks and odour control, and combinations of these with a view to meeting relevant odour requirements. 

Feedlot Meteorology and Odour Study 

We assisted a feedlot in New South Wales with a proposed site modification. This consisted of a site visit, validating the meteorological model TAPM against on site weather observations, estimating odour emissions based on site specific inputs using the MLA Emissions Model and predicting potential impacts using CALPUFF. The results were compared to the S Factor buffers calculated for the site, and the model was found to predict smaller buffers than the S Factor method. 

Research - Australian Egg Corporation - Odour review of layer farms and development of S-factor formula 

The project was funded by the Australian Egg Corporation and was lead by Integrity Ag & Environment. We assisted by evaluating existing S Factor methodology and developing an emissions model based on recent research. We then ran CALMET/CALPUFF for sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to derive the new S-Factor formula. The report detailing the work can be found here

Wastewater Treatment Plant

We were engaged to perform an odour assessment of a wastewater treatment plant located on the edge of a growing city. Using a combination of TAPM/CALMET and CALPUFF along with emission rate data from the client, we modeled a series of scenarios including the existing plant. We then compared the existing scenario to historical complaint data. The modelling was then used to inform future odour mitigation options. 

Road Traffic Air Quality Assessment 

We were engaged to provide expert advice for a Court Appeal where a road traffic assessment was required for a proposed development in the west of Sydney. We performed an assessment of emissions from the traffic on the roads around the development site and prepared an expert report which was accepted by the Council as suitably addressing their concerns.

Waste To Energy Plant

We were engaged to perform an air quality assessment of a trial waste to energy plant. This included emission estimation based on inputs provided by the client and modelling using TAPM/CALMET/CALPUFF. We prepared a report and recommended post approval commissioning testing prior to full scale production. 

Dust Management Plan 

Our client engaged us to prepare a dust management plan for a construction site . This included identifying all potential sources of dust generation, all proposed and potential dust mitigation methods, and formalising a document which met the local Council's requirements. 

CFD Modelling of Berm Wall

Our client had constructed a berm wall near an emission point and required an assessment to determine if the placement of the berm wall unduly influenced the dispersion of the plume. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics we were able to assess the influence of the berm wall on the plume, and conclude for the conditions modelled, the dispersion would be no worse than without the wall in place. For some of the scenarios we modelled, the berm wall decreased the downwind concentrations significantly. 

Piggery Odour Research

In combination with a State Government research group we examined the current odour measurement and modelling methodologies for piggeries in Australia. The team performed odour sampling at a number of sites and also performed odour modelling at several farms to test the model inputs and outputs with the aim of identifying the optimal way to assess odour from piggeries including the requirement for addition emission data to supplement the existing odour Australian Pork Limited odour emissions database. The project also compared and contrasted the different odour criteria in use in Australia today. The report can be found here.

Air Quality Management Plan - Childcare Centre

We were engaged by our client to prepare an air quality management plan for a new Child Care Centre located near a busy road. Key management method to reduce the risk to the site included optimising the ventilation system to avoid drawing air from the road site of the development and limiting outdoor activity for the children during peak traffic events or when the local Air Quality Category (AQC) was poor or worse. By subscribing to the state EPA air quality updates the operator of the centre was able to receive daily SMS and email updates with air quality ratings and forecasts to enable them to decide the extent of outdoor play on that day. 

Further information

A map showing some of our recent project locations throughout Australia and beyond can be found here. 

Any questions? Please contact us.