Air Quality Impact Assessment

An air quality impact assessment aims to assess the impact of atmospheric emissions from a facility on the receiving environment, usually at the planning phase prior to the facility’s construction. This allows the adoption of possible alternatives, mitigation and monitoring measures to minimise potential impacts to ambient air quality, once operational. Ultimately, this ensures a facility’s compliance with applicable air quality legislation, such as, National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), odour and dust regulations.

The assessment of air quality impacts requires the use of model predicted results (Air Dispersion Modelling), as well as a recognised impact assessment methodology. The pollutants emitted by the facility, the emission rates, stack parameters (e.g. heights, flow rates, temperature), building parameters, terrain, and meteorology are all taken into account to predict potential ambient impacts caused by the facility.

The assessment methodology and AAQS varies by country. However, most of the projects awarded to WKC are located in Non-Designated countries, and the financing of these Projects usually requires capital from an Equator Principle Financial Institution (EPFI).

The IFC General Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines require that emissions from a Project do not result in pollutant concentrations that reach or exceed relevant ambient quality guidelines and standards. This is achieved by applying national legislated standards, or in their absence, the current WHO Air Quality Guidelines, or other internationally recognised sources, such as the European Council Directives. Specific aspects relating to Air Quality Impact Assessments are found in Chapter 1.1 of the General EHS Guidelines.

WKC are regarded as specialists in the interpretation and implementation of the IFC General EHS and Sector Guidelines (specifically concerning air quality aspects), having successfully permitted over 80 bank financed projects since our inception.

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