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Air Quality

Overview


Exponent has truly unique capabilities when it comes to air quality assessment. In addition to providing emissions inventory, dispersion modeling, monitoring (stack and ambient), regulatory and litigation support services, our capabilities extend to other aspects not found in traditional consulting firms. Our chemical and combustion engineers provide support in calculating emissions related to issues such as new process emissions, fugitive emissions, or emissions from fires, explosions, accidental releases, and other “unusual” occurrences that happen in the real world. Our engineers don’t just go to a book or website to look up the best air pollution control design. Our engineers have experience with the design, installation, and operation of such systems. Exponent’s staff of environmental chemists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, ecologists, and physicians assist in understanding the potential risks of predicted and monitored air quality concentrations and particle deposition. Using this input, our air quality scientists and meteorologists conduct thorough analyses. So, Exponent’s air quality capabilities extend from the combustion zone to the “breathing zone” and every point in between.

With our reputation for cutting-edge innovation in atmospheric sciences, Exponent has conducted many projects investigating emissions, ambient air quality, and atmospheric phenomena. Our experience includes compliance, permitting, indoor air and atmospheric dispersion and deposition modeling, ambient air quality and emissions monitoring, rule assessment, pollution control research, and green house gas studies. We are frequently called upon to investigate unusual atmospheric releases of chemicals, assess air pollution risks, simulate transport and fate of chemical substances, or develop measures of prevention and control, such as emergency preparedness and response. We have conducted air quality analyses in locations throughout the U.S. and internationally including desert, tropical, temperate, and arctic environments and have communicated our analytical results effectively to the general public, regulatory bodies, and in courts of law.

We use the latest measurement techniques to quantify gaseous and particulate air pollutants, both on the ground and in-stack. Using state-of-the-art regulatory models we determine the ambient air quality impacts due to emissions from a single emissions source, a multi-source plant, or an entire city. We are also experienced in alternative modeling methodologies, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and building multi-zone models to estimate exposures for people indoors. And, there are circumstances in which we have recommended no modeling or the use the existing models. Simple or complicated. Standard or cutting-edge. Our approach is to solve problems efficiently.

Many of our projects involve historic release reconstruction. Some projects have required us to analyze legacy site releases or accidental releases to determine the impacts to the community. Other projects have required us to assess the ambient air quality impact of fugitive and point source emissions from historical and current industrial operations. Aside from site-specific assessments, our staff has dealt with regional-scale air quality issues both in the United States and Overseas. We can advise clients on broad, strategic issues related to air quality management and planning.

We have extensive experience in indoor air quality. Our scientists and engineers conduct field measurements and computer simulations to assess soil vapor intrusion. Our industrial hygienists evaluate exposure to chemicals in workplaces. We use building models to estimate indoor pollutant concentrations caused by human activities indoors and by outdoor air entering the building. Our Thermal scientists assess combustion products and production of CO that might adversely impact a person’s health. We have conducted room-scale experiments in our laboratories to reconstruct indoor exposures. 

Exponent has worked on climate change and other global environmental compliance issues for more than 10 years. Our personnel include the lead author of one chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, participants in state global climate change panels, and scientists who have testified before legislative bodies on global climate change. We work with clients to develop strategic responses to climate-related demands, public relations, and potential impacts to their assets. We have the expertise to perform a third-party verification for greenhouse gas registry or carbon trading scheme. Teaming with Exponent’s diverse staff of ecologists, and process and combustion engineers, our environmental scientists can advise clients on carbon management strategies that are tailored to their industry.

Clients benefit from our multidisciplinary approach, which includes the support of chemical engineers, combustion specialists, atmospheric modelers, and experts in health effects of air pollution. Our engineers gather information related to the process that has caused the release of chemicals into the air. Our atmospheric scientists collect available meteorological data and perform computer simulations of the dynamics of the chemical cloud and its dispersion in the environment. Our environmental chemists determine the transformation and fate of the transported chemicals. Our toxicologists and health science professionals assess the potential health impact caused by the release in the affected area. Our statisticians evaluate the uncertainty of the results. All these capabilities allow Exponent to provide its clients with a scientifically sound assessment of the dynamics and potential consequences of these releases.