Make a cleaner future with air quality modeling.

Who conducts air quality modeling?  Calvin Consulting Group Ltd.

How do you keep your industrial facility's surrounding air clean and healthy?  Learn about air quality modelling, also known as dispersion modeling.  As pollutants enter the atmosphere, we can calculate their behavior, dilution, and potential impact using dispersion models.

What's the goal here?  Maintaining high air quality around your facility.  Our journey includes site simulations, meticulous analysis, the use of industry-approved models, and in-depth output evaluation.  We provide solutions, expert testimony, and address environmental concerns.  Let's talk about how we can help.

It is time for cleaner air!

When pollutants enter the atmosphere, dispersion models calculate what happens.  How diluted it gets in the process, and under what conditions it becomes a problem.  

So what's the point?  To make sure the air near the facility meets the relevant air quality standards and objectives.  Simulations use parameterized emission characteristics, flow obstruction qualities, a background pollutant level, and local meteorological and topographic data.

Calculations result in predicted concentrations, which we compare with standards to see if compliance is theoretically possible.

Here is an example of an air quality assessment conducted by an environmental group.

This is how a typical project goes.  How does stack exit gas disperse after release?  Let me tell you what we do:

  1. Designing a simplified simulation of the plant layout.  Start with a site plan.

  • Analyzing the site design created by the engineering firm - By parameterizing and describing the details, like building dimensions, stack heights, and locations.  We also need the diameter, exit temperature, and velocity of each stack for a basic air dispersion model.  Models predict the concentrations of substances released by these sources downwind.
  • Selecting approved models, sometimes with help from regulators or government websites.  Air pollution models help us distinguish between anthropogenic and natural causes, like volcanoes.  Toxic air pollution comes from plants, traffic, cities, and photochemical smog.
  • The most common air models are ISC-prime, AERMOD, CALPUFF, RTDM, and SCREEN3.  Models use meteorological data and past weather observations to predict how fumes and plumes will travel.  We use the results to answer this question: How does air pollution affect the environment?
  • Analyzing the output of the air quality model.  Using computer graphics software to compare projected consequences with government regulations.  Graphs of predicted contaminant distribution can range from still to sophisticated animations from CALPUFF and other models.
  • When a problem arises, we offer solutions and alternatives.  It's basically offering possible changes to the design of the plant and the temperature of the waste stream.  By building a taller stack, installing scrubbers and extraction systems, changing the mixture in the stack, erecting stacks and buildings in different locations, and then starting the air quality modeling again, modelers can come up with solutions.
  • Testifying as an expert witness for the client at hearings and other meetings.  They make sure citizen watch eco groups and officials' concerns are addressed and situations with potential environmental problems are fixed.  You can count on us.
  • We all need Feedback:

    Let me know if your plant has to go through this.  Find out what you need to do.  These air quality modeling projects are never trivial.

    Problems related to the environment and the community

    1. Human interactions with the environment include lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, allergies, smog, smoke, visibility, aesthetics, pictures, global warming, and ozone depletion.  We also do emissions statistics for the National Pollutant Release Inventory - NPRI - and the Greenhouse Gas Inventory - GHG.
    2. Among the substances that can pollute the environment are sulfur, sulphur dioxide SO, carbon monoxide CO and dioxide CO, nitrogen oxides NOx and NO, sulfuric acid H₂SO₄, mercury Hg, volatile organic compounds VOCs, benzene, toluene, chicken manure and fertilizer, which contain ammonia NH₃ among other air pollutants, dust, hydrogen sulphide H₂S, particulate matter PM and more.  We've added fugitive leak detection and repair - LDAR - services to save clients money (by reducing waste) while maintaining air quality.
    3. Exhaust, dust, and waste are created by cars, trucks, planes, and vans.

    Are you ready for expert air quality modeling for your project? Let's work together to make your area cleaner and healthier by discussing your specific needs and ensuring compliance with air quality standards.

    Air Quality Modelling for Your Company

    Here are some highlights from my resume

    For a detailed, Myers Briggs assisted, description of my personal preferences, see this page.


    EDUCATION Undergraduate Science Diploma in Meteorology, University of Alberta, 1994
    B.Sc., with specialization in Physics, University of Alberta, 1989

    SUMMARY Barry has more than 25 years of experience with meteorology and dispersion modelling for upstream and midstream energy projects.  He's an atmospheric scientist who specializes in air quality modeling and operational meteorology.  Additionally, Barry has experience with public relations, mitigation, and environmental solutions.

    He's compiled emission inventories, interpreted atmospheric influences, designed air monitoring programs, and air quality modelling assessments.  He's also developed programs and techniques to evaluate air quality.  Air quality modeling, data validation, and operational meteorology are his specialties.

    In the past, Barry has prepared air quality compliance information for industry license applications.  It involves compiling complex emissions inventories and air dispersion models, making recommendations on how to modify plant designs to meet air quality guidelines, figuring out how to resolve problems, and doing statistics.  His recent projects include:

    • Modeling air quality dispersion with United States EPA dispersion models.  And more recently, he became an expert in CALPUFF modeling at Calvin Consulting.
    • Predicting and recommending alternate plant and stack operations.
    • Modifying dispersion models based on regulations, plant parameters, client needs, and weather.
    • Regulatory approval renewals and amendments.
    • Calculating the best location for air quality monitoring stations based on model output.
    • Preparing monthly and annual air quality reports.
    • Corporate CEO

    Memberships skills & Affiliations

    • The Canadian Air & Waste Management Association's fields of expertise
    • Modeling dispersion of air quality
    • Applications for licenses
    • Reports and inventories of emissions
    • Interpretation and forecasting of meteorological data


    • Native English speaker

    Sectors of the economy

    • Oil and gas producers
    • The manufacturing industry
    • Petrochemicals
    • Municipal power plants

    An overview of specific project experiences

    Applications: Joffre Alberta Industrial Complex, Plant-Design-and-Emission-Sources-Database.  It includes a chemical plant, a cogeneration plant, an oligomers plant, and a nitrogen fertilizer plant.

    A team of scientists measured the location, emissions parameters, and wake effects of dozens of streams running simultaneously at these plants, then assessed their impacts on the terrain.  For accurate and complete air quality modeling, we had to consult operational staff at all three sites.  The compiled design information, modelling results, and interpretations were sent to each participant.

    Air Quality modelling for the Hardisty Tank Storage Complex in Alberta, Canada, which is a major oil storage and transportation hub.  Located in Hardisty, it's a major oil storage, blending, and distribution center.  There are a lot of tanks and infrastructure to handle large volumes of crude oil.

    It's a key hub for oil producers, refiners, and marketers in Canada's energy industry.  Different grades of crude oil can be stored here, allowing for efficient supply and demand management.  Located near major pipelines and transportation routes, the complex makes it easy to move oil to refineries, export terminals, and other markets.

    Hardisty Tank Storage Complex has several benefits for the energy sector.  Adding storage options for different types of crude oil enhances operational flexibility, enabling blending and customization to meet market needs.  It also helps stabilize the market by buffering supply disruptions or demand fluctuations.

    Furthermore, the complex creates jobs and supports related industries like logistics, transportation, and maintenance.  In addition to fostering economic growth, it plays a crucial role in Canada's energy infrastructure.  

    Edmonton's Refinery Row is an industrial area where several oil refineries are located close to each other.  Like any industrial activity, refineries can have an impact on air quality.

    As a result of refinery operations, the air quality near Refinery Row is a concern.  Pollutants released by refineries include SO2, NOx, VOCs and PM.  Human health and the environment can be affected by these emissions.  

    Emission control measures and strict environmental regulations are needed to address these concerns.  Various technologies and practices are used to minimize emissions, including advanced monitoring systems, pollution control devices, and continuous improvement.

    Alberta Environment and Protected Areas AEPA regularly monitors air quality near Refinery Row to ensure compliance with air quality standards.  It helps identify potential deviations from acceptable air quality levels, so action can be taken to mitigate them.

    Residents and stakeholders need to stay informed about air quality monitoring results and health advisories.  Engagement and transparency are key to addressing air quality concerns, promoting responsible industrial practices, and protecting community well-being.

    Industry, government, and local communities work together to improve air quality near Refinery Row.  A healthy environment depends on continuous monitoring, regulatory compliance, emission reduction strategies, and ongoing research and innovation.

    Examples of modeling and data validation tasks specific to certain projects:

    During these projects, I:

    - gathered empirical ozone data,

    - studied the physical principles and monitoring conditions, and

    - kept the most realistic values for further research and policymaking. 

    Activities included:

    - Modelling and presenting data for oil and gas facilities.  

    - Analyzing the effects of carbon-based emissions, NOx and particulates.  

    In large areas considered in these air quality modeling projects, there are often other similar industries influencing the results.

    The dispersion of a variety of contaminants associated with natural gas-derived chemicals was modeled. With air quality modeling, we can simulate the effects of:

    - a limited supply of ozone that helps NOx get converted into NO2,

    - carbon monoxide,

    - ethylene and its effects on agriculture,

    - benzene,

    - butadiene,

    - methyl pentane,

    - PM of varying sizes, and

    - other contaminants from two large multi-facility complexes. 

    Other projects I've worked on included these elements:

    - Proposed plant layout and operations were adjusted because of air quality modeling output, and the changes improved simulation results.  

    - For large natural gas pipeline projects, I developed an air quality modeling system to streamline repeated components of each evaluation.

    - Assessed cumulative effects of NOx and PM, often near other industrial or urban development.

    - Modeled emissions from "tepee" burners and other unique types of emission sources, like bag filters at OSB factories.

    - Used a customized air quality modeling program developed by a consulting firm.  In Alberta and Saskatchewan, water vapour is often found near power plants and cogeneration facilities.  The air quality modeling program was used to predict fog events on nearby roads for these projects.

    The following are some examples of past project task descriptions:

    Analyzed results of air quality modeling using SAS was for the calculations.  The ISC-OLM and PVMRM algorithms (for determining NO2 conversions) replaced manual conversions of NOx concentrations to NO2.

    Use SAS or Surfer to visualize model output.  The isopleths were mapped on background maps with matching scale and orientation so viewers could see how the source(s) were predicted to affect nearby areas.

    We used AutoCAD to create a background map showed terrain contours.  With graphical fills of different densities, you could see the terrain shape easily.

    If the client's proposed situation was predicted to result in problematic ambient concentrations, we suggested modifications to the plant design.

    In some cases, small changes were needed to get satisfactory results.  We'd find the most practical and effective solution using incremental changes.  For example, fuel gas flare stack operations could be modified to have a higher buoyancy flux, more dispersion and lower concentrations.  We could have the engineers raise stack heights, relocate sources and buildings, or add incinerators and filters to reduce the impact of harmful emissions.

    In addition, my team and I made calculations for public hearings, kept in touch with the chief consultant at crucial moments, and generated new model runs on demand, relaying the results to support the client's position. 

    My group also developed and documented efficient procedures for processing output and displaying graphics for the air quality modeling division's ISO9001 certification.

    At Environment and Climate Change Canada (formerly Meteorological Services of Canada and Atmospheric Environment Services):

    Physical and dynamic explanations of meteorological phenomena.  Using computer and hand-drawn graphics, created short-term weather forecasts.

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    How can we predict the impact of your air quality on your business?

    A model for predicting air quality.  How should a factory that produces air emissions be operated?

    Do you have concerns about air pollution in your area??

    Perhaps modelling air pollution will provide the answers to your question.

    That is what I do on a full-time basis.  Find out if it is necessary for your project.

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