The Suez Governorate Regional Branch Office (RBO) of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) had accumulated a large body of point source emissions data and ambient air quality measurements. This data, although did not cover the whole of the governorate, provided a wealth of information.
However, it was not efficient to continue measuring emissions from the point sources because of the high cost and time consumption that this involves, in addition to the expected changes in measurements, daily and yearly, depending on meteorological conditions. The best means to estimate the measurements was to use a dispersion model that simulates air quality and represent the data on a computerized geographic map using a GIS (Geographic Information System).
The project assigned to Environics was a pilot phase for an overall development of an environmental map for the Suez region. The pilot phase aimed at determining the impact of petroleum clusters in Zaitiat area on Suez air shed and the tourist developments on the Red Sea, to provide basis for developing a complete computerized environmental map for the region.
The pilot phase for this project focused on the cluster consisting of two refineries (Suez and El-Nasr), and nearby four facilities for storage and distribution of petroleum products. The results of this phase demonstrated the uses of air dispersion models and the GIS system to develop environmental maps.
To fulfill the phase’s aim, Environics conducted field visits and analyzed the findings to develop the environmental map. Four reports were submitted to the RBO: an Inception Report; an Emissions Estimation Report; an Air Dispersion Modelling Report, and a Training Report.
The Inception Report presented the methodology and scope to be used in the preparation of an environmental map for air emissions in Zaitiat area, and set the implementation plan for the project.
The Emissions Estimation Report first described the estimation techniques, which included direct measurements, developing emission factors, applying mass balance techniques, and employing emission models. The report then presented the findings, their analysis, and the final conclusions.
The Air Dispersion Modelling Report defined general conditions and sensitive areas; estimated pollution loads; presented the employed air dispersion models; analyzed the impacts of individual facilities and the cumulative impacts; identified hot zones, and recommended environmental improvement scenarios.
The Training Report summarized the training sessions provided to the RBO staff on Emission Estimation Techniques and Air Dispersion Modelling.
The project accomplished the following on the institutional and technical levels:
– Establishing the principle of mutual cooperation and joint work between the formal environmental entities, polluters (petroleum refineries & distributing companies), and the academia (universities & researchers);
– Building the capacities of environmental regulators, particularly for applying mathematical modeling in other areas;
– Development of the concerned industrial facilities in terms of organizing, reviewing, and validating data and information, in order to obtain the best results in the targeted pilot project;
– Simulation of international efforts in reducing pollution in densely populated areas, where there is a concentration of industrial plants, and
– Identifying the air carrying capacity in the study area, which guided the planning of later projects and the urban development at one of the crowded districts of Suez City.