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Air Pollution Effects on Ecology

The impact of air pollution on sensitive ecology is usually a transboundary effect, often occurring over hundreds of miles and potentially across numerous countries. The impact is most usually from pollutants being deposited as particles and aerosols on sensitive habitats. The principal effects being eutrophication (adding nutrients) and/or acidification of habitats, resulting in an upset to the balance of biodiversity.

Some larger developments, and many large combustion processes as well as local planning requirements in particularly sensitive regions, can make ecological impacts from air pollution a significant planning and permitting issue.

Phlorum has in-house experts in both ecological and air quality assessments, some of whom are joint members of both the IAQM and CIEEM. We are therefore uniquely qualified to advise our clients on the effects of air pollution on ecology.

The air pollution dispersion and deposition models we use provide contour plots that can be overlaid with Critical Load (the threshold at which damage to specific habitat can occur from air pollution deposition) data from APIS. Using guidance from the IAQM and CIEEM, and from our own ecological surveys, the resolution of these data can be increased to specify only those parts of a site that might be impacted and/or require mitigation. This higher resolution approach can help developers deliver their projects without resorting to unnecessary and costly changes to their plans that might otherwise be revealed from less detailed approaches using simple habitat assessment tools on the web.

Combining our skillsets across the different environmental topic areas allows us to provide our clients with the most efficient and effective guidance to meet theirs’ and regulators’ needs.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss your project, and particularly if you feel that others have provided ecological impact advice that does not fit with the above.