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Application of different dispersion models to a site near the Belgian-Dutch border

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Many countries in Europe use dispersion models for regulatory purposes that differ in many aspects. In practical situations near borders between countries this may lead to the calculation of very different impacts of the same source configuration. We applied three models to the same source in the Dutch province of Zeeland Flanders, near the Belgian-Dutch border. The Belgian model IFDM and the Dutch National Model (DNM) are used, which are both regulatory models. The DNM is currently criticized because of its obsolete descriptions of meteorology; therefore, the advanced Dutch model STACKS was used as well. The source configuration was taken from an existing environmental impact study, which was necessary to obtain the relevant emission licences. Some validation aspects of the models are discussed, such as comparison with the Kincaid data, both for the SO2 and the SF6 concentrations. As expected, the DNM produces results different from the other two models in terms of yearly averaged concentrations and 98-percentiles. In this paper these differences are discussed, taking into account the fundamentals of the models, which reflect the different qualities of the models and the influence of practical implications, such as using ready-for-use (routine) meteorological datasets as opposed to specific meteorological input datasets especially built for this application.

Keywords: atmospheric dispersion models, atmospheric stability, Kincaid dataset, environmental impact assessment, Dutch National Model, IFDM model, STACKS, air pollution, environmental pollution, modelling, Belgium, The Netherlands

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