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Atmospheric dispersion methods in environmental impact assessment in Flanders

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This paper presents a survey of the experiences in Flanders during the first five years of implementing environmental impact assessment (EIA) as specified by the European Directive 85/337/EEC and the Flemish Orders of 23 March 1989. The current EIA procedure is presented in general, and an indication is given of the number of impact assessments carried out to date. A typical methodology used for assessing impacts of air emissions from industrial projects is described and discussed. There is no standard dispersion model recommended by the authority; in practice, however, it is noted that experts tend to use traditional Gaussian models, often those used in neighbouring countries. Finally, the administration's efforts to improve the general quality of future impact statements through 'Guidelines for EIA' are briefly described.

Keywords: atmospheric dispersion models, environmental impact assessment, environmental impact statement, Flanders, Belgium, air pollution, environmental pollution, modelling

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