Definitions

toxic waste siteemissions samplingmeasuring emissionsmeasuring emissions from contaminated soil

Chuck Schmidt- He is a Ph.D., analytical chemist that has been working in environmental sciences since grad school (University of Michigan) in 1980.  He worked with Radian Corporation from 1980 to 1989, and then started his own consulting company (sole proprietorship) until present.  With over 31 years experience and hundreds of site assessment projects, he has extensive experience in characterizing air emissions from area sources.  He has the necessary testing equipment to conduct these assessments, and a network of consultants and laboratories in order to meet most clients needs.

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Environmental Consultant- Provides consulting services pertaining to area source assessment, indoor air quality assessment, outdoor air quality assessment, subsurface site investigation, vapor intrusion assessment, hazardous waste site remedial investigation (air pathway) and focused feasibility study, and agricultural, industrial, municipal site or facility assessment with regard for the air pathway.  These applications generally define the 'Air Pathway Analysis' for the site or facility.  Expertise also includes instrumental methods of analysis, sample collection, analytical chemistry, protocol development, method verification and method validation, quality assurance and quality control protocol, site health and safety, data evaluation, and reporting.

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Air Emissions- The release of gas-phase compounds (also particulate matter) from a source to the atmosphere. Air emissions are typically reported in units of mass per time from the source or site (e.g., lbs/day, tons/year, micrograms/minute, etc.). Air emissions from area sources using the USEPA flux chamber are measured as a 'flux' (mass per time per surface area) and are converted to emissions by multiplying the flux (average or maximum from the source) by the surface area of the source. The surface area term drops out leaving mass per time, or air emissions from the source.

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Area Sources- Any emitting source or surface that has an 'area' associated with it.  The generic types of air emission sources are 'point sources' (stacks or vents), 'mobile sources' (vehicles), and area sources.  Most industries have area sources, including lagoons, ponds, channels, trenches, storage piles, fields, drying beds, land applications, open process such as tanks, surface coatings and applications, and the like.  They also include spill or release related sources such as surface spills, subsurface contaminated groundwater plumes, leaking pipelines, soil plumes and buried waste resulting in soil gas plumes in the vadose zone.  An area source is any source that has an 'area' (length and width) associated with it, and an emissions into the gas phase (atmosphere) resulting in a mass transfer of volatile organic, semi-volatile organic, or inorganic compound to the air.  This is known as a 'flux' in units of mass per time per surface area.  A common unit of flux is microgram per square meter per minute (ug/m2,min-1).

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Air Pathway Analyses (APA)- Although this term was originally coined for Remedial Investigation/Feasibility site assessment as part of the hazardous waste site Superfund program, it generally refers to the study of gaseous release from any site or source.  The 'air pathway' portion refers to the potential impact to air sheds or receptors near the site.  The focus is the study of the air emissions from the site or sources on the site is to quantify the emissions from the site which is expressed in the engineering unit of mass released per time.  The emissions are measured as a 'flux' (mass transfer term) and used for a variety of project purposes.  The measurement types are described in the USEPA Technical Guidance Series Volume 2 as provided under 'Publications' in the tool bar, and include: direct technologies, indirect technologies, fenceline monitoring and modeling, and predictive modeling.

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Technical Approach- The the technical approach is the direction and scope developed for the project in order to assess the emissions from the site.  The available information about the site or source is studied, the most applicable and appropriate methodology available is selected, a scope of work is developed that will generate the required data set, and a work plan, standard operating protocol, or Quality Assurance Project Plan is prepared describing the technical approach for the project.

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Work Plans- A work plan is a document that, at a minimum, describes the program, defines the program objectives and goals, outlines the technical approach, provides a scope of work, and defines the quality assurance for the program.  The work plan can take the form of a simple guidance document, Standard Operating Protocol (SOP), or a rigorous Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).  These documents are essential for project success, including agency approval, project management, and achieving the quality assurance project objectives.

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Testing- Testing includes preparing field equipment/instruments, deployment to the site, working with site personnel and the project team to collect the field samples, chain of custody and shipping of samples to the designated project laboratory, packing, and returning from the site to home base.

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Air Emissions Data- The air emissions data format depends on the technical approach and the sample collection methods.  For direct measurement via the USEPA flux chamber technology, air samples taken from the flux chamber (concentration data) are converted into 'flux' data and presented in tabular form for emissions assessment.  For emissions from an area source, the maximum or average compound flux, multiplied by the source area, produces the source 'emissions' expressed in mass emitted per time.  All field data are reviewed and qualified by using the QC criteria documented in the work plan, and presented with data qualifiers or data 'flags'.

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Reporting- Any format of reporting that meets the project needs can be prepared, however the most cost-effective format used is the 'Technical Memorandum' , where the APA is documented, quality control data are reported, data are reported, and summary statements about the data set are provided.  Recommendations or conclusions regarding the data set not included in the Technical Memorandum.

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Industry or Site- The air emissions from virtually all area sources found on any site or in any industry can be assessed by one technology or another.  Many by using the cost-effective USEPA surface flux chamber.  Check out those sources or industries identified in the tool bar.

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Project Needs- Assessing the air emissions from emitting sources on client's property is the typical project need.  The air emissions data are used for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to: engineering evaluations, worker safety or exposure, off site odor impacts, off site exposure or heath risk, process emissions for permitting purposes, and overall site emissions from an industrial or commercial complex.  The project technical approach is tailor-made for each application.

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