Environmental Science

Petroka undertakes a range of environmental impact assessments and management services for development and operations that may have an impact on the environment.
Petroka’s assessment of a project’s sustainability covers all aspects of development, operation and regulation to ensure that environmental liabilities are controlled.
The team project manages scoping studies and full environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessments and sustainability appraisals and draws on the strengths of specific disciplines in the business as required – Such as contaminated land, air quality, hydrology, noise, ecology, and landscape. Such skills are required across the range of due diligence, building compliance audits, management system audits and development, and operational compliance against issues such as waste, contaminated land, energy and asbestos.

Services Provided:

  • Environmental due diligence
  • Pre-acquisition and operational audits
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Strategic environmental assessments
  • Regulatory permit compliance
  • Environmental management plans
  • Hydrological assessment
  • Contaminated land management
  • Compliance waste management
  • Expert witness

Workplace environmental monitoring is the evaluation of risks to people from exposure to hazardous material or from air and water quality. The workplace and built environment has a major influence on health, welfare and productivity of employees, contractors and visitors alike. Organizations today face the challenge of ensuring the workplace environment is safe, healthy and meets all statutory requirements.

Petroka can provide the knowledge, resource and expertise to support organizations to achieve legal compliance and provide safe and healthy workplace environments. We adopt the recognized approach of determining the risk factors involved, and provide recommendations to minimize those risks, as well as developing a comprehensive management programme of control, monitoring and auditing to record actions and provide appraisal, and re-assessing any changes.

Services Provided:

  • Legionella and drinking water risk assessment monitoring and auditing
  • UKAS accredited sampling and sample analysis
  • Outbreak/incident investigation
  • Air condition ventilation hygiene assessments
  • Environmental tests in offices or other occupancy areas
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments
  • Computer/cleanroom assessment, monitoring and auditing
  • Lighting Surveys
  • Comprehensive risk management programmes
  • Legal and technical advice
  • Training

Petroka has an experienced team of air quality consultants providing advice on the assessment of baseline and future air quality for developments, response to complaints about air quality, and mitigation measures for improving air quality.

Petroka can undertake atmospheric dispersion modelling for the prediction of air quality impacts from transport and industry in response to requirements from regulators and government. We are also able to assist in undertaking air quality monitoring to show compliance with air quality objectives from site selection to data capture and interpretation.

Petroka also offer a comprehensive service aiding local authorities with their statutory duty relations to local air quality management and regulatory inspections under the pollution and prevention control regulations as well as other regulations, such as the solvent emissions directive and waste incineration directive. Our services include determining applications, compliance inspections and writing permits.

Services provided:

  • Local authority inspections and permitting
  • Guidance documents for regulatory agencies and government
  • Development of air quality policies
  • Dispersion modelling for integrated Pollution Prevention Control /Local Authority Integrated
  • Pollution Control and industrial sources
  • Air quality assessment developments
  • Air quality assessment for road schemes
  • Odor assessment and dispersion modelling
  • Ambient air quality monitoring
  • Air quality for environmental statements
  • Construction and dust management

In the UK, industrial sites that could have an impact on the environment are regulated by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. In order to secure the permits and licenses they need; site operators must be able to show that they manage their activities in a way that will not negatively affect the environment.

The industrial Performance and Permitting team help operators of sites likepower stations, refineries, chemical factories, car plants and waste management sites to apply for and maintain the permits and licenses they need. In addition, the team works with operators to improve their environmental performance by designing and implementing environmental management systems and helping with issues like waste management, energy use and raw materials consumption.

This combination of skills and services means that we can provide a valuable support role to clients in potentially hazardous

Services provided:

  • Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control regulatory Compliance
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) assessment & Safety cases
  • Waste management licensing and landfill management
  • Energy and waste management and minimization
  • Environment due diligence and legal assessment
  • Regulatory compliance inspections and auditing

The environmental scientists in our consulting division work closely with the geotechnical engineers and laboratory division to provide clients with a comprehensive package of contamination management services. These services cover all aspects of site, ground and water contamination for both operation and development.

Services provided:

  • Contaminated land management
    • Desk studies
    • Intrusive site investigation
    • Risk assessment
    • Remediation
  • Combined geotechnical, environmental and groundwater investigations
  • Pre-acquisition or development assessment
  • Pollution audits and liability assessments
  • Management of contamination, remediation and verification projects
  • Assistance with preparation of environmental impact assessments and applications for Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control [IPPC] permits and planning approvals
  • Waste and soil classification
  • Specialist in oil/fuel leaks and contamination
  • Expertise in management of soil gas/landfill gas regulators including local authorities and the environment agency

Our service range is extremely broad covering the impacts of noise and vibration in the environment and on people, and in detail, the assessment and impact of noise and vibration on structures and machinery. Our services are deployed to a wide range of clients and sectors, including major blue-chip organizations, offshore operators, marine operators and government/regulatory bodies.

Services provided:

Environmental Impacts

  • Policy and legislative advice to government
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Planning and public inquiry support
  • Predictive modelling using state of the art computational techniques, including noise mapping and aircraft noise modelling
  • Noise and vibration monitoring/investigations

People Impacts

  • Noise at work assessments and management programmes
  • Hand arm vibration
  • Hearing protection
  • Whole body vibration
  • Public address system prediction and assessment

Structures and machinery impacts

  • Acoustic design advice and specification
  • Sound insultation testing
  • Detailed finite element analysis (acoustic or structural)
  • Field based model analysis
  • Structural investigation and troubleshooting
  • Stress, strain and fatigue measurement, prediction and assessment
  • Vibration and fatigue assessment of process pipework
  • Multi-channel data acquisition and analysis
  • Pressure and pulsation analysis

Petroka provides a broad range of consulting services to the waste management industry and waste producers. These services enable both companies and local authorities to optimize the management of their waste streams whilst minimizing environmental liabilities.

Services provided:

  • Waste stream and disposal audits
  • Waste minimization and audits
  • Development of waste strategies
  • Option studies for material recovery/recycling
  • Planning and permitting of new waste management facilities
  • Specialists in landfill development and control
  • Experts in the development of built waste facilities (transfer stations) and composting plant road, rail and river transfer
  • Landfill gas and leachate control
  • Asset inspections for waste management companies, including mobile and static plants, and buildings
  • Landfill monitoring
  • Landfill design and construction supervision

The increased emphasis given to the impact of development on the water environment, both in terms of the protection of habitat and the risk of flooding requires the provision of specialist hydrological advice to the planning process. In addition, recent widespread flooding from rivers and watercourses, as well as overloaded sewer networks has highlighted the risk to many properties and communities across the UK.
The Petroka specialist team of hydrologists and civil engineers routinely provide expert advice to a diverse client base including government agencies, developers, architects, planning consultants, local authorities, householders, insurance companies and the legal profession. Application of leading-edge analysis techniques provides cost effective solutions to complex problems with the added value of readily communicable and easily accessible results.

Services provided:

Flood risk assessments

  • 1D and 2D hydraulic modeling
  • Floodplain modelling
  • Advice on mitigation measures
  • PPG/PPS25 compliant reporting

Environmental impact assessment

  • Hydrological and hydrogeological baseline studies
  • Impact of development on the water environment
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Negotiating with statutory bodies
  • Geomorphology

Flood alleviation schemes

  • Feasibility studies
  • Project appraisal reports
  • Alleviation scheme and design procurement
  • Project and construction management

Drainage analysis

  • Investigation and analysis of existing networks
  • Network simulation
  • Remedial drainage schemes
  • Sustainable drainage systems

Expert services

  • Planning appeals and inquiries
  • Litigation

Assessing the impacts of development on ecology, habitats and biodiversity is an essential aspect of any development proposal. Protection and enhancement of habitats and species within the UK is governed by various wildlife legislation including The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and The Habitat Regulations 1994.

Ecological impact assessment has become the most important management tool for controlling the ecological effects of land and water use in the UK. Improved integration of ecology within the environmental impact assessment and the planning process does result in projects that perform better environmentally.

Our ecology team has a long history of helping to deliver such responsibilities, including undertaking habitat and species surveys, ecological impact assessments, and mitigation planning and monitoring using the latest tools, techniques and reporting.

Services provided:

Site survey and evaluation

  • Phase 1, national vegetation classification and river corridor surveys
  • Species surveys, including plants, invertebrates, crayfish, freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, badgers, bats, water voles, dormice and otters
  • Ecological data analysis, habitat mapping within geographic information systems and site evaluation against recognized criteria.

Legislation and policy advice

  • Provision of advice on compliance protected species and site legislation
  • Review and advice on nature conservation planning policy
  • Expert evidence and witness for planning inquiries, planning appeals, litigation

Ecological impact assessment

  • Production of scoping studies and reports for environmental impact assessments
  • Ecological input into landscape design and master planning

Wildlife habitat creation and management

  • Application for development licenses for protected species and provision of associated method statements and site management plans
  • Guidance on creation of wildlife habitat and monitoring
  • Provision of ecological clerk of works

Petroka utilises specialist marine modelling software to predict plume geometry and mixing behaviour from a diverse range of effluent discharge types including:

  • Industrial wastewater discharges containing conservative and non-conservative pollutants
  • Cooling water discharges with elevated temperatures
  • Desalination plant discharges with elevated brine concentrations
  • Dredge and drill cuttings (suspended sediments)

The modelling systems currently being used include CORMIX for near-field applications, and the MIKE suite of modelling applications for more complex or far-field situations.

The MIKE2/3 software package (developed by DHI) is a powerful and versatile tool in simulating physical, chemical or biological processes in coastal and marine areas. The MIKE21/3 Flow Model (FM) Hydrodynamic Module (HD) is a general numerical modelling system for the simulation of water level variations and associated flows. The software can simulate unsteady three-dimensional flows in fluids considering variable bathymetry, tidal forcing, wind forcing, baroclinic forcing and atmospheric influence.

The software also incorporates near-field simulations which can accurately simulate the ‘jet’ phase of the effluent (where the effluent momentum influences trajectory and mixing behaviour). These near-field simulations are linked with the MIKE FM HD module, enabling the influence of ambient currents on ‘jet’ behaviour to be simulated at the same temporal and spatial resolution as the hydrodynamic model.

With the MIKE FM HD module acting as the core module, additional modules can be used as required to simulate advection and dispersion of cooling water and brine discharges, conservative and non-conservative pollutants, particulates and turbidity, oil spills, coastal erosion and sedimentation and ecological/biological processes.

These modelling systems can be used in a wide variety of applications including:

  • Optimising outfall design
  • Determining regulatory compliance with mixing zone radius limits
  • Providing input into marine ecology impact assessments
  • Oil spill assessments
  • Determining dilution factors for input into discharge hazard and risk assessments
  • Determination of the potential for recirculation of cooling water into the inlet of the cooling water system.

Geotechnical Engineering is the evaluation of the behavior of soils and rocks in response to a wide range of conditions including, loading by foundations, forming cuttings and embankments, tunneling, retaining walls and slope stabilization.

On any construction project, failure to accurately predict the ground conditions or the behavior for the materials encountered poses the greatest risk to the contract budget and programme. The effective management of these risks is the key role of the geotechnical engineer.

Petroka’s geotechnical team offer expert advice throughout development to enable clients to manage their geotechnical risks. During the early stages of a project, the geotechnical team, through detailed desk studies, experience and local knowledge, provide a preliminary assessment of the ground conditions and the attendant hazards. This desk study data is then used to develop appropriate site investigations, and to obtain design parameters and to confirm, or otherwise, the presence of the identified hazards. At the tender stage Petroka work directly with the contractor and design team to ensure economy of design and provide value engineered solutions for the reuse of excavated materials.

Services provided:

  • Advice throughout development
  • Site investigation
  • Design and build support
  • Ground improvement advice
  • Landslip solutions
  • Geohazard assessment
  • Expert witness
  • Subsidence investigation

Noise and vibration issues are a worldwide problem. However, the way the problem is dealt with differs immensely from country to country and is very much dependent on culture, economy, and politics. Petroka offers comprehensive noise and vibration consultancy services across a wide range of industries and sectors, conforming to industry standards, national legislation, and international best practice. Our team has extensive experience of noise and vibration assessments for major facilities and projects around the World and have carried out numerous measurement and modelling studies. Ranging from baseline and verification noise surveys to preliminary and detailed noise modelling assessments and induced fatigue failure in process pipework. With our professional associations, experience, and utilising our in-house assessment tools, Petroka offer an efficient and robust solution to meet our client’s needs.

Petroka’s capabilities, whether for internal purposes, governmental approvals, or new project financing include:

  • Ambient and industrial noise surveys
  • Industrial and infrastructure noise modelling
  • Wind farm noise assessments
  • Acoustically induced vibration (AIV) assessments
  • Flow induced vibration (FIV) assessments
  • Acoustic design and mitigation assessment
  • Noise and vibration bespoke training courses
  • Petroka offers bespoke training sessions and workshops tailored to meet our client’s specific requirements.

Petroka’s experienced assurance team support public and private-sector clients, across a range of sectors, in minimising their environmental, health, safety (EHS) and social liabilities. Our Assurance Services can be broadly categorised under the following categories:

  • EHS audits: Our audit team comprises experts well versed with a range of auditing techniques. EHS compliance, social welfare, lender monitoring, accommodation camp and construction site audits are among the types of audits, which we commonly undertake.
  • Site assessments: Soil and groundwater investigations and monitoring are an essential requirement for companies who need to ensure long-term project risk management and cost savings, as well as assessing short-term health exposure issues. Our services include Phase I and Phase II site assessments.
  • Transaction services: We understand that each transaction’s EHS and social risks are unique, requiring careful review and thorough investigation. We offer EHS and social due diligence reviews for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and provide risk and liability management, lender due diligence, independent reviews against international financial institutions and post-merger EHS systems integration.
  • Sustainability reporting: Our consultants have a wealth of experience of sustainability reporting. Our quality of service and understanding of internationally recognised sustainability reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) framework, enable us to deliver tailored reporting services which meet the needs of a diverse range of sectors.
  • EHS management systems: Our services include EHS management system development and review, such as the development of EHS policies, manuals, standards, procedures, and plans. EHS regulatory review, legal register development and updates.