Atmospheric Science Assessment

Exponent provides advanced atmospheric sciences consulting services for clients around the world. Our staff specializes in air quality modeling, emissions modeling, meteorological modeling, air quality and meteorological measurements, permitting, and licensing. We investigate accidental releases of chemicals to the atmosphere, simulate transport and fate of chemical substances, and develop measures of prevention and control, such as emergency preparedness and response.

Our staff has modeled some of the toughest air quality issues including industrial plumes, dense gases, photochemical reactions, mobile sources, forest fires, explosions, radioactive releases, and odors. In addition to site-specific assessments, our staff has dealt with regional-scale and global-scale air quality issues. Exponent scientists have been involved in computer-based air modeling since its inception in the early 1970s. They were the original developers of the USEPA-approved CALPUFF plume dispersion model, and have continuously evolved the model to its current version 7.

Exponent staff also made contributions to the development of the earliest photochemical grid models, and they have been continuously involved in the evolution, development, application and evaluation of these models as well.

Our Work

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 greenhouse 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), building multi-zone models, and room-scale experiments in our laboratories to reconstruct indoor air exposures. And, there are circumstances in which we have recommended no modeling or the use the existing models.

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 third-party verification for greenhouse gas registry or carbon trading scheme. 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. These capabilities allow Exponent to provide its clients with a scientifically sound assessment of the dynamics and potential consequence of these releases.

Our Team

Exponent’s unique atmospheric science assessment capabilities extend to aspects not found in traditional consulting firms. We can advise clients on broad, strategic issues related to air quality management and planning. Exponent’s Atmospheric Sciences staff has experience serving a wide range of private sector, industrial, and government clients around the world, including major companies operating aluminum facilities, oil refineries, chemical plants, electric generating stations, pulp and paper manufacturing, natural gas storage, and distribution and asphalt plants.

Clients benefit from our multidisciplinary approach, which includes the support of Exponent:

  • Chemical engineers
  • Combustion specialists
  • Atmospheric modelers
  • Thermal and process engineers
  • Risk assessors

Whether it is a simple or complicated problem, using standard or cutting-edge models, our approach is to solve problems efficiently.