SCAIL assesses air pollution from animal facilities
The ongoing intensification of agriculture, with fewer farms in favour of larger facilities, leads to an increased need for environmental impact assessments from these operations.
The Formas project SCAIL Sweden is to develop a web-based dispersion tool to assess nitrogen load, acid deposition and air concentrations in sensitive natural settings and habitats, as well as PM10 concentrations, from combustion sources and large livestock facilities in Sweden.
The simple calculations currently used to assess the impact of nitrogen from large livestock facilities underestimate the local effects of the nitrogen emissions. As a result, there are no incentives or requirements for efficient measures that could reduce the ammonia emissions from the facilities. Further, the environmental impacts on any adjacent, sensitive natural areas, such as Natura 2000 areas, are underestimated.
At the local level, nitrogen emissions in the form of ammonia can cause over-fertilization and acidification in nearby ecosystems, leading to changes in the species composition and reduced biodiversity.
This tool is to result in better and more secure environmental impact assessments in permit applications, especially for new or expanding combustion sources and large livestock facilities. The tool will be developed in close collaboration with farmers, environmental consultants and regulatory agencies.