In our last post on this topic we left off asking the question, “given how much wildland fires change year to year, how do we build an emissions inventory (EI) that is representative of a multi-year period, or a future period?” This is a confounding problem not only for the Regional Haze planning process but for any air quality planning exercise that a regulatory agency engages with.
In 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for gold ore processing and production facilities. This rule is set forth in Volume 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 63 Subpart EEEEEEE (40 CFR 63 Subpart EEEEEEE). These gold ore processing and production facilities are required to obtain a federal permit under 40 CFR part 70 or 40 CFR part 71 (Title V operating permit), even if they are not associated with a major source.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued the final Oregon Nonroad Diesel Equipment Survey and Emissions Inventory, completed with the help of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG); Good Company LLC; and Oak Leaf Environmental, Inc. The aim of this study was to generate Oregon-specific data of non-road equipment characteristics, such as: engine age, activity rate, fuel consumption, and geographic distribution.
2020 has presented Air Sciences with many opportunities for retooling. As a small business, we quickly enacted a work-from-home policy with some routines to keep everyone healthy but also balanced. Daily facetime through all-company meetings and even some virtual happy hours have kept our close-knit teams connected and thriving. The small blessings of this newfound flexibility (and home-cooked lunches) are quickly displaced, however, by the anxiety we all feel around the ongoing turmoil in economic and public health arenas.
For centuries, humans used mercury to extract gold or silver. Incredibly dangerous if inhaled directly, mercury also poses an environmental burden when it is released into the atmosphere or ends up in water. Mercury release can have natural (from volcanoes and forest fires) or man-made (anthropogenic) origins (power plants and manufacturing). One anthropogenic source linked to Air Sciences’ work is gold mining in Nevada.