Today the University of Texas at Austin (UT) announced project Astra, a new partnership led by UT and bringing together Environmental Defense Fund, ExxonMobil, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Pioneer Natural Resources Company.
Latest Insight Posts
Thought piece discussing decommissioning provisions in hydrocarbon deals. In several UK Continental Shelf cases, a company with material tax history has sold assets to a relatively new entrant, with no tax paying history. This can leave the buyer unable to claim tax relief against decommissioning.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) allows scientists to use environmental samples to identify species living in a specific location without seeing them. Using this innovative technique, researchers can detect a single target species or map entire species communities using water, soil or sediment samples.
Our colleagues at HFL Consulting Ltd have produced another excellent insight piece, discussing remote studies for the hazardous processing industries. Remote studies are a necessity of our current world, but there could be a reason to hang on to these even after we return to business as usual.
This briefing note summarises the requirements for developers of peaking plants. Peaking plant are electricity generating plant that support the national grid when there is a high demand for electricity compared to the base load supply.
A well planned, well structured and well managed procurement can deliver high service performance, value for money and retain flexibility for services to evolve over time. SLR's Grant Pearson - Waste and Resource Strategy Consultant - shares his five top tips for seamless procurement in the article below.
The Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020 comes into effect on 6 April 2020. It includes an interesting position statement by government on the importance of the consultation process, and the extent to which businesses need to track and risk assess the development of the law in advance of its formal release date. SLR's Colin Malcolm looks into the ways in which businesses manage change in the environmental legislation framework, and the potential risks and opportunities it brings.
The HSE defines Intelligent Customer as “The capability of the organisation to have a clear understanding and knowledge of the product or service being supplied”.
The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest in the UK and plays an important role in our economy. We have collated some of the most recent and interesting facts and figures about the sector to provide a snapshot of information about how the sector has performed in recent years.
(Part 4 of 4 - Mini Blog Series) Our fourth and final featured woman in our week-long celebration of International Woman's Day is Jenny Graham, P.Eng., who is a Senior Air Quality Engineer, that works out of our Guelph, Ontario office. Jenny graduated from the University of Guelph in 2011 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree (Environmental Engineering Co-op).
(Part 3 of 4 - Mini Blog Series) Our third featured woman for our week long celebration of International Women's Day is Mel Hamilton who is an Environmental Engineer and Land Quality and Remediation Team Lead, that works out of our Calgary, Alberta office.
Our second featured woman in our week long celebration of International Women’s Day is a very well respected and seasoned pioneer in the mining industry - Deborah McCombe. She comes to SLR from the recent acquisition of Roscoe Postle and Associates (RPA), where she served as President and CEO. (Part 2 of 4 - Blog Series)
SLR Canada celebrates International Women's Day 2020 with short blog series that features a small sample of the amazing women that are making strides in the field of sciences. Our first featured women is Christina Noel. She is a young Environmental Engineer, that works out of our Vancouver office in British Columbia.
The updated Food and Drink sector BREF note BAT conclusions (BATc) were published on 4 December 2019. This has triggered an environmental permit review for the Food and Drink sector by the UK environmental regulators.
Whether you are looking for a review of how your cyber-security management system accounts for major accident hazards or require a security risk assessment for a SIS, we can help.
With electricity prices on the rise, consumers are looking for unique ways to reduce their costs of energy. Generally, there are two to three energy rates available on any given day; they include off-peak, mid-peak, and on-peak. Meaning energy is most expensive, when it is highest in demand. In attempts to combat this system, companies are charging up batteries at off-peak prices and selling the stored energy back to the grid at on-peak prices.
Good news all round - building dormice boxes with New Leaf mental health patients for use on SLR projects
SLR Senior Ecologist, Ben Garnett (Ecology, Exeter), has been heavily responsible for a project creating high-quality dormouse boxes with NHS not-for-profit initiative, New Leaf. He has then been able buy the boxes on behalf of SLR for use on dormouse relocation projects and is continuing to work on developing a strong relationship with New Leaf for future business. Follow the link to read Ben's story.
Sometimes you aren’t lucky enough to have masterplanned communities, instead you need to optimize the design of your site and project to ensure the building remains accessible with snow. The first step in preparing a site plan is orientation. For snow, I recommend the sustainable approach and let Mother Nature clear the snow around the building!
In North America, snow can accumulate up to nine months of the year, it wreaks havoc on commuters, annoys property owners due to ongoing maintenance, and impacts municipal budgets. Some of these impacts can be lessened through designing for snow at the master planning stage of a town expansion or subdivision plan. And by designing for snow, I mean the consideration of where the drifting is coming from, where it will settle, and how that impacts accessibility to pedestrian areas.
In the article below, SLR’s Paul Wright (Technical Director – Environmental Management, Permitting and Compliance) muses on the changes the UK will see to environmental legislation in 2020, and what companies need to prepare for.
Railways are an efficient and environmentally sustainable mode of transport. Transportation planning worldwide aims to create modal shifts to rail. At the same time, concerns around harmful effects of noise are increasing. Rail noise policy is a topic that affects the acoustic amenity of a huge number of people worldwide and should tailor to the key issues in a particular region.
Carl Steyn, Soil Science Team Leader in Africa, had an excellent time representing SLR at the Nicola Conference last week. At the conference Carl presented his paper on the topic of arsenic concentrations in soils in Mpumalanga Province South Africa.
Pedestrian comfort is based on many things, but one key component is wind. If you cannot comfortably stand in a park, sit at a café, or walk down an animated streetscape due to wind, then people will not use the spaces as intended.
When assessing wind conditions at a site, it is important to understand that the term "prevailing winds" does not equate to “most of the time”
In my many years of providing guidance on sound isolation in partitions, one of the more important overlooked details is the presence of gaps, holes or other openings in the partition. In this second installment, I discuss one gap in particular – the joint between the floor at both the top and bottom of the wall.
Further to our previous Food and Drink BREF Updates covering the key changes of, and the specific changes to, emissions to water in the updated BREF, we can now advise on the likely plan to be followed by UK Regulators for the necessary permit reviews.
Stack effect is the movement of large volumes of air through the envelope of a building due to temperature differentials between indoor and outdoor air. The effect is intensified in taller buildings. The taller the building, the greater the temperature differential, the greater the driving force. Consequences of this stack effect can wreak havoc in a high-rise building.
In this first instalment of our series on the devils that lie in acoustic details, Brad Pridham discuss two important decisions for metal stud acoustic wall assemblies: the stud gauge and the stud spacing. Choices made around these two parameters can dramatically affect the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating and sound isolation performance of a partition.
Further to our previous Food and Drink BREF Update in April, the final draft of the revised Food and Drink BREF was unanimously approved in June. The Best Available Technique Conclusions (BATc) then had to be translated, which normally takes 2 to 3 months, indicating the earliest publication date of September 2019. The date of publication will trigger the four year implementation period of the BATc and BAT-AELs under the Industrial Emissions Directive.
Over recent years and during lower oil prices, the success and take up of many international Oil & Gas exploration licence rounds has suffered in response to the economic climate. This added to the technical and commercial risks, particularly away from the safer basins of places such as the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, has led to the uptake to suffered even further.
Dublin City Council has recently submitted a proposed amendment to the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme. This now allows for significantly higher building heights than the original Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). This amendment follows the release of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy’s Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines in December 2018. If approved, and given the housing pressure which Dublin faces, this is a pivotal change. A decision from the Board on the amendment is scheduled for October 2019. SLR is eagerly awaiting this development and, if approved will be watching closely for its impact on housing delivery.
Environmental Risk Assessment – Are Companies Missing Critical Blind Spots and Risking a Major Accident?
In the article below, SLR’s Euan Munro (Associate Engineer, Process Safety and Process Engineering) discusses the potential for companies to have blind spots in regards to the environmental impact of their operating sites. Using his own experience and expertise, Euan explains the process of an Environmental Risk Assessment, which is the best way for companies to avoid a Major Accident to the Environment.
The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is running an Industrial Heat Recovery Support (IHRS) Programme, specifically designed to encourage and support industry investment in heat recovery technologies across England and Wales.
Ensuring Distribution Centres and Manufacturing Facilities understand their vulnerability to fuel and chemical spills
SLR’s Risk Assessment and Toxicology team are helping a major European retailer within the UK to assess their Regional Distribution Centres’ vulnerability to fuel and chemical spills. This work follows an incident at one of the Distribution Centres where a release from a back-up generator fuel supply system posed an environmental risk.
Since its first inception in the 1960’s, Virtual Reality (VR) has gained momentum across a broad range of sectors, with major investment from industries such as Gaming, Healthcare and Location Based-Entertainment (LBE). In this article, we consider the benefits of using VR for training purposes such as health & safety and procedure training. Click here to re...
With a number of key changes highlighted in the 2018 Food & Drink BREF, SLR has prepared a document drawing attention to the introduction of a Total nitrogen (TN) limit for emissions to water.
A Landscape Architect in SLR’s Dublin office for nearly 10 years, Anne Merkle provides insight into the importance of collaboration and why she finds working in an office with such a variety of disciplines so rewarding.
Did you know that there are currently over 30,000 businesses at risk of flooding in the UK? As the Food and Drink sector is the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK it stands to potentially suffer the most disruption to its operations in the years to come, particularly with the advent of climate change. Martin Baines, Technical Director - Hydrology, at SLR Consulting explains how Insurers are working with businesses to provide solutions to minimise the impact of flooding:
Food and drink sector organisations typically exhibit a range of environmental impacts and pollution scenarios that require effective management and operational control. Sitting alongside these risks is a complex framework of environmental law, with a typical manufacturing organisation having in the region of twenty to thirty environmental laws requiring active compliance management.
In July 2018, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published the latest version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which sets national policy on land use planning – including the relationship between existing and new land uses.
Organisations rely on people. People are essential, to even those with advanced technology.
We’ve created a useful briefing document detailing information around Anaerobic Digestion.
The Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) were amended in 2018 to implement the requirements of the ‘Medium Combustion Plant’ (MCP) Directive and additional controls on ‘Specified Generators’.
Greg Altria, Associate Consultant with SLR, provides an insight into the Environmental Permitting Regulations affecting mission critical sites
The potential introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for recyclable drinks containers in the UK draws a variety of opinions on the respective merits of such systems, and the drivers behind their implementation.
There is a lot of focus in the general media and from government on the Food & Drink sector, especially with food waste and plastics. But there is also a recognition of the importance of the sector to the UK economy with the first meeting this year of the Food and Drink Sector Council and the continued funding for support to food waste reduction.
Two weeks have passed since the publication of the NPPF. Now the dust has settled somewhat, is the road mapped out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to plan for housing provision in England any clearer?
I am going to share some thoughts and experiences from a ‘non tech’ perspective about how to turn data into information that answers the critical questions of complex organisations.
SLR’s Dr George Nash has just had another fascinating article published in Current World Archaeology magazine.
SLR has been helping towns and cities (and the businesses which operate and own property in them) across Ireland and the UK to tackle the decline in retailing with positive solutions. In the article below, Paul McTernan details the challenges, opportunities and some of his key frustrations with the debate.
The British Meat Industry typically exhibits a range of environmental impacts and pollution scenarios that require effective management and operational control. Sitting alongside these risks is a complex framework of environmental law, with a typical organisation having in the region of twenty to thirty environmental laws requiring active compliance management.
The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) forms part of the EU’s Clean Air Policy and fills a regulatory gap between small and large combustion plant, targeting emissions from combustion plants of between 1 and 50MWth input.
Over the past decade many of the world’s most successful global businesses have started to look beyond traditional corporate-charity models to a more responsive style of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which seeks to embed social awareness within the heart of their everyday operations.
The EA is currently consulting on changes to fees and charges for its regulatory activities. This is a major overhaul of the charges scheme which aims to make the charges more reflective of the regulatory activity needed so as to achieve better cost recovery.
It is more than two years since ISO 14001:2015 was published, and to date only 40% or so of organisations holding certificates for the 2004 version of the standard have made the transition to the 2015 edition.
ESOS Phase 2 is currently underway and all large undertakings are expected to complete new assessments by 5 December 2019, with any audits from now counting towards the final compliance. Below is the latest newsletter from the Environmental Agency, which makes it clear that they are becoming more stringent and less amenable to non-compliance, with a significant number of penalties being followed up.
‘So you have a site…’ A little preparation can go a long way when undertaking strategic land promotion
Despite the UK Government’s recent proposals to reform national planning policy to speed delivery of future housing, it is clear that the lack of any substantive change to key areas such as Green Belt Policy mean active promotion of sites by landowners and developers will remain a critical component to the release of large strategic sites.
Draft Revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework – a platitude towards boosting housing delivery?
Edward Bright (Principal, Planning) shares his thoughts on the Draft Revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and what the changes might mean. With Westminster drowning under the pressures of negotiating a successful Brexit, there’s no doubt those in Whitehall are all working hard. However, the Draft Revisions to the NPPF clearly show that creating ground breaking and effective domestic policy to boost housing delivery is not an easy task. Is this publication merely a platitude toward previous manifesto promises?
Andrew Forbes, Visualisation and Virtual Reality Specialist at SLR, discusses the vast benefits that virtual reality can deliver to the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment process, and introduces SLR’s prototype VR app.
Since the introduction of the Sentencing Council’s ‘Environmental Offences: Definitive Guideline’ in July 2014, the increase in fines has dramatically impacted on Water Companies.