LQM is a specialist environmental consultancy based in Nottingham (UK) with an international reputation for assessing and managing the risks posed to human health and the environment by contaminants in soil. Increasingly this is being done within a context of sustainable development and specifically sustainable brownfield regeneration.

We provide consultancy, peer review and expert witness services, contract research and training courses on all aspects of the management of land contamination to problem holders, developers and local government.

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Archive: Jul 2015

  1. More Webinars and another New Tool for PAH analysis from LQM

    Following the recent, and well received, release of the LQM PAH Profiling Tool (useful in supporting a Surrogate Marker Approach for PAH assessment), several of you have been in touch asking about Double Ratio Plots.  This is a technique we have been using internally for some time and we are now pleased to announce the release of new LQM PAH Double Ratio Tool. This should complement the LQM PAH Profiling Tool and together provide a useful toolkit for those wishing to extract more value from their site data.

    In the scientific literature, double ratio plots have been widely used to investigate the possible source(s) of PAHs in environmental samples, and are even offered as additional services by several labs in the UK.  However, they have not been widely used by consultants to interrogate SI data concerning possible different sources of PAH contamination in soils.

    The LQM PAH Double Ratio Tool is a quick and easy spreadsheet tool that can help to indicate the potential source(s) of the PAH contamination in your soil samples, based upon the concentration ratios of certain PAH congeners. This can greatly assist in clarifying the conceptual model for the site and hence the potential human health risks that may be posed by PAHs at your site.  Full details can be found here: http://www.lqm.co.uk/publications/pahratio/ and a free trial version with limited functionality is available at http://www.lqm.co.uk/free/ (registration required).

    If you would like to learn more about how this spreadsheet tool can be useful in helping to indicate potential source(s) of PAH contamination, delineate different source terms and/or samples that may show different clustering across your site, please join one of our two FREE webinars at lunchtime on the 23rd or 28th July 2015 (Start-time: 1pm, Duration: ~30 minutes).  The webinars are intended to explain the scientific background behind double ratio plots and other molecular indices, introduce the LQM PAH Double Ratio Tool and how to use it, and highlight some of the important caveats inherent in this type of analysis.

    To book a place on one of the two webinars, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/8872636991595122946(Please note that we will be running the same event on two different days, please make sure you select the correct event from the drop down box when booking!)

  2. Data4Sustain – feasibility decision support tool for renewable energy technologies

    University of Nottingham Innovation Park – view looking north-east towards the Sir Colin Campbell Building which is supplied with renewable energy from the lake in the foreground via a water source heat pump (©Photo courtesy of University of Nottingham)

    University of Nottingham Innovation Park – view looking north-east towards the Sir Colin Campbell Building which is supplied with renewable energy from the lake in the foreground via a water source heat pump (©Photo courtesy of University of Nottingham)

    LQM have successfully won a prestigious collaborative competition funding bid through the UK’s Innovation agency, Innovate UK , (Solving Urban Challenges with Data – Feasibility Studies). The Data4Sustain project is an exciting industry-led collaboration between LQM, the British Geological Survey, the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (University of Nottingham) and Nottingham Energy Partnership Energy Services (NEPes). The project will develop a web-based geographical information system (GIS) decision-support tool for renewable energy technology selection by integrating and adding value to existing environmental datasets and relevant spatial layers dictating feasibility and competitiveness.

    Despite the existence of national renewable energy targets, incentive schemes and regional resource estimates, the efficiency of technology feasibility selection can be a major constraint to project start-up and exploitation of potential energy resources.

    Therefore, the Data4Sustain decision-support tool aims to provide potential users such as house builders, developers, local authorities, community groups and businesses, with the necessary information to help them decide which renewable energy options are available to them on a site-by-site basis and facilitate the transition to a low carbon future and diversification of energy supplies.

    NEPes is a key delivery partner for the 2020 Nottingham City Energy Strategy and Action Plan and leading players in promoting sustainable energy across the East Midlands in both business and community group sectors. Also on board are two prominent local end-users with the necessary practical stakeholder insight and advice, the University of Nottingham Estates Office and Positive Homes Ltd. These end-users provide projects against which to help validate the Data4Sustain project deliverables (see photos for some examples). The project runs for 12 months starting July 2015. If you are interested in contacting the project team please contact LQM (data4sustain@gmail.com 0115 7484080) or to register an interest in Data4Sustain and keep up to date with the latest developments please sign-up to the Data4Sustain mailing list.

    Example of early solar PV installation undertaken by Positive Homes Ltd (©Photo courtesy of Positive Homes Ltd)

    Example of early solar PV installation undertaken by Positive Homes Ltd (©Photo courtesy of Positive Homes Ltd)

  3. PAH Profiling Tool – Webinar recording now available

    In June, LQM released a simple to use PAH Profiling Tool designed to test whether your site data supports the use of assessment criteria derived based on the Surrogate Marker Approach (SMA).  Several Generic Assessment Criteria for assessing human health risks from PAH mixtures in soil have been published that adopt this approach, including the C4SL for benzo[a]pyrene and the S4UL for “Coal tar (BaP as a surrogate marker)”.  These criteria have the potential to significantly simplify human health assessments for PAHs in soils, but only where site data meets the underlying assumptions of the SMA and, in particular, that the PAH profile is similar to that of the coal tars studied by Culp et al. (1998).  This is study used as the basis for the toxicological benchmarks used to derive the C4SL and S4ULs.

    We have discussed the LQM PAH Profiling Tool previously on this blog.  Since then we have run two, very well attended webinars explaining the Surrogate marker approach and how the PAH Profiling Tool can support its use on a site-specific basis.

    If you couldn’t make either of the webinars, a recording of the second one is now available on line at  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/6502431869984349953 or to find out more about the PAH Profiling Tool go to http://www.lqm.co.uk/publications/pahprofile/.