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What is a H1 Risk Assessment?

When applying for a standard permit, the Environment Agency have done most of the risk assessment for you. When you apply for a bespoke permit their maybe some grey areas with regards to risk, as such a H1 Risk Assessment may be required. A H1 Risk Assessment is a method for gauging risks of certain aspects of your activities. An example:

An operator is recycling plastics, and there are several emissions points where vapors and particulates from the recycling process are escaping in to the air, of particular concern may be VOCs;

 - Bromodichloromethane

 - 1,1-Dichloroethane

 - Tetrachloromethane

The above three VOCs are being released and it unclear whether the levels are safe. Do they pose a risk to the environment? Do they pose a risk to nearby residents? This is where the H1 Risk Assessment comes in to play.

By assessing volumes, concentrations, dilution and sensitivity of receptors a risk level can be deduced. This information can be used to;

1 - Help Support an application for an Environmental Permit

2 - Lessen Monitoring Requirements for a Particular Substance

Environmental Permitting - OPRA - Dice

There are four major steps in completing an H1 Risk Assessment, the first is to identify the risks associated with your permitted activity, the second is to assess those risks, the third to decide on appropriate measures (and to justify those measures, and finally to present your findings to the Regulator (Environment Agency).

If you have any question regarding H1 Risk Assessments in connection with Environmental Permits then please contact SWEL for a free initial consultation.

H1 Risk Assessment Case - Typical Procedure

SWEL have completed numerous H1 Assessments for various installations and discharge activities. The "meat" of the work is finding the data to put into the assessment, the rest is quite easy. The job can be very quick if the data is to hand but in most cases it is not which may require monitoring or consultations with various bodies. For a H1 assessment for an Installation Permit we would require quite a lot of data.

Indirect Emissions

This covers thing like electricity use . . . . global warming potential and the likes.

Direct Emissions

This would deal with discharges to water, air and land. In each case you will need a wealth of data in order to populated the H1 software. The Environment Agency ordinarily insist on MCerts accredited monitoring. An example might be NOx, SOx or POx.

Environmental Data

River flow by volume, water quality and air quality, these are required to populate the H1 Assessment Software.

H1 Software Use

Once you have all of you data in place, this is put in to the H1 Software (which is freely available) and hopefully when you consider the volume of output, the concentration of output, the back ground level and the dilution and dispersion, then the substances such as lead, or copper will "screen out" if they do then this is good news. If they do not then you will either have to upgrade your abatement or treatment systems or undertake detailed modeling.

Detailed Monitoring

If the H1 tool does not screen out for a particular substance, then detailed modeling will have to be undertaken. This involves using a program such a aermod, to calculate concentration of certain substances at certain points. You may avoid abatement & treatment upgrades if it can be shown that concentrations are acceptable at nearby receptor locations.