Assessments and permits

Environmental Impact Assessment

Whenever developing a new project, it is important to assess the impact of the planned activities on the environment. According to the legal requirements in force in the Republic of Latvia and requirements of international financial institutions, in cases when negative environmental impact is predicted, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is indispensable during the project planning stage.

The EIA is a procedure aimed at identifying and predicting environmental effects of proposed activities and projects. It means that impact on human health, biological diversity, air, water, landscape and on other environmental aspects is assessed. In cases when the proposed activities are to be carried out within Natura 2000 territories or in their vicinity, a specially defined procedure for the assessment of the impact on Natura 2000 must be applied.

Regulatory enactments in Latvia stipulate that the initiator of the planned activity must envisage several alternative solutions for project implementation. The most advantageous of the alternative solutions shall be chosen. After evaluating the different alternatives, proposals on how to prevent or reduce the adverse effects in each of the options are outlined. In the case of large projects, the costs of these measures can be remarkable and vary significantly from one alternative to another.

Consultants of ELLE have been actively involved in the development of the EIA system in Latvia. The company has gained extensive hands-on experience having evaluated the environmental impact of dozens of projects since 1998, when the Law “On Environmental Impact Assessment” was adopted. A team of committed and highly qualified experts has evolved over these years, capable and dedicated to carry out an EIA in a wide range of fields depending on the type of planned activities.

Permits for Polluting Activities, Overviews and Statistical Repo

In accordance with the Regulations No. 1082 of the Cabinet of Ministers of November 30, 2010 "Procedure by which polluting activities of category A, B and C shall be declared and permits for the performance of category A and B polluting activities shall be issued", any company operating an activity that falls under the criteria as specified in the above regulations, is required to receive a permit for polluting activities. This permit is necessary for launching the activity as well as for its continuation after the previous permit expires. The company is obliged to prepare an application for a permit and submit it to the regional environmental authorities.

ELLE has more than 10 years of experience in developing both category A and B polluting activity permit applications. Applications are prepared in close collaboration with the clients, so as to find an optimal solution for the particular case and not to hinder completion of procedures.

The application for a category A and B polluting activity permit regarding activities that cause air pollution must contain information regarding the sources of air pollution and the amount of pollution. To assess air pollution, calculations and modelling are carried out and emission limits for stationary air pollution sources are fixed in conformity with regulatory requirements.

In accordance with the provisions of category A and B polluting activity permits and the Natural Resources Tax Law, the operators are obliged to provide regular estimations on the pollution discharged in the environment as well as to submit reports on natural resources tax to the regional environmental authorities. ELLE offers its services for the calculation of the amount of pollution discharged into the environment and for the preparation of natural resource tax reports.

GHG emission permits and reports

In the field of climate change, the European Union has strict requirements for the participation of operators in the emissions trading system. Requirements for Latvian operators are specified in the Law “On Pollution” and the subordinate regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, which stipulate that operators that perform any of the activities referred to in Annex 2, Part II of the Law “On Pollution” (e.g. production of ammonia, operation of combustion plants of certain capacity), are required to obtain a greenhouse gas emissions permit in order to participate in the emissions trading system.

All operators in Latvia, participating in the emissions trading system must:

  1. monitor their emissions in accordance with the monitoring plan included in the greenhouse gas emissions permit issued to the operator;
  2. prepare and submit emission reports, verified by accredited verifiers, to the relevant regional environmental board of the State Environmental Service by 31 March each year;
  3. transfer the amount of emission allowances to the state by 31 April (the transfer takes place in the Emissions Register).

ELLE has several years of experience in projects related to climate change, calculating GHG emissions for individual installations, drafting emission reports, preparing applications for amendments to greenhouse gas emissions permits and emission allowances, and providing other miscellaneous advice to operators participating in the EU emissions trading system.

Air quality assessment and management

Both when carrying out an environmental impact assessment and when preparing an application for a category A or B polluting activity permit, companies must provide information on the changes in air quality caused by the proposed activity. ELLE, in accordance with the requirements of the European Union, already in 2000 started using the modern air pollution dispersion program ADMS, developed by the Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC).

Since 2003, ELLE offers its customers professional services for the assessment and management of air pollution dispersion, in line with the requirements of regulatory enactments.

The knowledge of the company's specialists and the available software provide an opportunity to develop long-term action programmes for air pollution reduction, intended for improving air quality in areas where air pollution levels exceed air quality standards or where an increase in the levels of air pollution has been identified.

Through development of the air quality management system in Latvia and Lithuania ELLE has gained substantial experience and knowledge which allow the company to offer training programmes, seminars and workshops in the field of air pollution reduction and air quality management.

Unpleasant odours are the most important problem of air pollution for companies in many industries. This issue is relevant for both new and existing production plants. In many cases, odours are a nuisance to the surrounding inhabitants, and the local authority should draw up and approve an action programme for odour nuisance prevention.

One of the first steps in such cases is to determine the odour concentration by conducting measurements or calculations. Only approved air pollutant distribution computer software, including ADMS, may be used to assess odour concentrations. Using ADMS software, the ELLE specialists have performed the assessment of odour disturbances caused by various companies as well as have evaluated related problems at the municipal level. ELLE also develops emission limit projects for stationary pollution sources which cause or may cause odour nuisances for Category A or B polluting activities.

Odour assessment

The produced odours can be one of the most significant problems of air pollution for companies in various sectors, for example oil product transhipment terminals, animal farms or wastewater treatment facilities.

In many cases, odours can be a nuisance to the surrounding inhabitants, therefore, each company shall assess the odour generated by their activities and, if necessary, develop and implement an action programme for odour nuisance prevention.

Odour concentration measurements

One of the first steps to be taken is such cases is determining the odour concentration by carrying out odour concentration measurements. The Environmental Research Laboratory of ELLE performs odour concentration measurements in accordance with requirements of the standard LVS EN 13725: 2004 “Air quality - Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”, which is currently the valid reference method for odour detection in the Republic of Latvia.

Odour concentration is determined by using olfactometry instruments manufactured by the Canadian company Scentroid. By applying the odour concentration results obtained by olfactometry, specialists of ELLE have performed analysis of the effectiveness of odour concentration reduction devices, performed the assessment of disturbances caused by odour emissions of the specific operator and have assessed the related problems on a larger scale.

Odour dispersion modelling

In order to assess the size of the area impacted by the odours generated by a company, odour dispersion modelling is performed by using a modern air pollution dispersion determination software, and an odour emission limit project is prepared. Such emission limit project must be developed for all Category A or B polluting activities that may result in producing odours. In case it is established that the operator has exceeded the target value of odour in residential or public areas specified in regulatory enactments, the operator must develop a plan of measures odour prevention or reduction. Experts of ELLE are experienced in providing odour reduction solutions for companies operating in various industries.

Environmental noise assessment

Since early 2003, ELLE carries out projects involving prediction of the environmental noise for individual projects within the framework of EIA, as well as for larger areas by drawing up strategic noise maps, as specified in the EU Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC) and the Regulations No. 16 of the Cabinet of Ministers of January 7, 2014 “Procedures for Environmental Noise Assessment and Management”.

To maintain a high standard of performance related to noise mapping, ELLE avails of the extensive experience of its strategic partner Wölfel Monitoring Systems GmbH + Co. KG (Germany) in the field of assessment and modelling of environmental noise.

Hardware and software produced by Wölfel is used for noise mapping. ELLE is an authorised distributor of Wölfel products in the Baltic states.

Water quality assessment

Nature research

The nature in Latvia is rich and diverse.  Specially protected nature territories – nature reserves, nature parks, and strict reserves – have been established in different places across the country. In order to maintain the integrity of specially protected nature areas for the future generations, considerate management of these territories is necessary. Therefore, in accordance with the requirements of legal acts, nature protection plans are developed. These plans include information on nature values and local economic developments as well as prescribe a range of maintenance activities to be realized.

In 2004, the Ministry of the Environment approved the list of protected nature areas of European importance (Natura 2000). Environmental impact assessment of the proposed activity ought to be carried out if the activity is planned to be realized in the area of a Natura 2000 territory or in its vicinity. This requirement follows from the provisions of the EU Habitats Directive which are incorporated in the Law “On Environmental Impact Assessment”, in the Regulations No. 83 of the Cabinet of Ministers of January 5, 2011 “Procedures for the environmental impact assessment of an intended activity”, and partly also in the Law “On the Conservation of Species and Biotopes”.

ELLE consultants have actively partaken in reviewing the procedures governing the development of nature protection plans. The company has acquired significant experience in preparation of these plans and has conducted a number of impact assessment procedures on Natura 2000 territories in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Directorate-General of Environment of the European Commission.

Risk management

SEVESO III (2012/18/EU) directive and Regulations No. 131 of the Cabinet of Ministers of March 1, 2016 “Industrial Accident Risk Assessment Procedures and Risk Reduction Measures” require that a safety management system must be implemented in industrial accident risk facilities, and documentation, that ensures and certifies the operation of this management system, must be developed.

ELLE offers consultations for the implementation of the safety management system and, in accordance with the requirements of SEVESO III and Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 131 “Industrial Accident Risk Assessment Procedures and Risk Reduction Measures”, offers to develop the following documentation:

  • submissions regarding dangerous substances in the establishment;
  • industrial accident prevention programmes;
  • safety reports;
  • industrial accident prevention policy documents;
  • risk reduction measure plans;
  • informative materials for the public.

Risk management documentation includes not only the previously mentioned documents to be developed in accordance with the requirements of legal acts. ELLE specialists also develop risk management strategic documents, procedures, instructions, as well as any other documents necessary for the establishment, implementation and operation of an effective risk management system.

ELLE also offers the following services in the implementation and maintenance of a safety management system:

  • safety management audit;
  • safety management self - assessment;
  • preparation for and participation in complex inspections;
  • safety walk-around;
  • consultations regarding safety management system maintenance, etc.


Risk assessment

Our experience and the knowledge we have acquired provide an opportunity to develop any type of industrial risk (also called industrial accident risk) and hazard assessments in accordance with the requirements of state supervisory authorities, regulatory enactments or internal regulations of the company, by following internationally accepted risk assessment principles and methods.

Typically, an industrial risk assessment is performed, when:

  • commencing or expanding an activity that may cause accident risks;
  • identifying the risks caused by an existing activity;
  • planning risk reduction measures and measures for increasing the safety level of the facility;
  • planning the development of the territory;
  • developing contingency (emergency action) plans;
  • demonstrating attitude towards safe operation of the company to the public, partners, customers, national supervisory authorities, and other stakeholders.

Industrial risk assessment must be carried out for industrial accident risk establishments regulated by the SEVESO III Directive and the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 131 “Industrial Accident Risk Assessment Procedures and Risk Reduction Measures”.

Industrial risk involves two components:

  • the likelihood of occurrence of an event (emergency);
  • the expected consequences of the occurrence of such an event.

Determining the likelihood of accident

In risk assessments, ELLE applies such internationally recognized risk assessment methods as:

  • Quantitative risk assessment method in compliance with the Dutch risk assessment recommendations (“Guidelines for quantitative risk assessment”, “Purple Book” CPR 18E);
  • FMECA;
  • HAZOP;
  • Fault tree analysis;
  • Event tree analysis;
  • Risk matrix, etc.

Consequence modelling

To model the distribution of consequences of an accident, ELLE industrial risk experts use a computer software complex developed by the company Gexcon, which consists of the software Effects, used to determine the distribution accident exposure effects, and the software Riskcurves, used for quantitative risk analysis.

With this software, the specialists of ELLE model:

  • release of toxic and flammable gases into the atmosphere;
  • different types of flammable liquid and gas fires (pool, jet and cloud fires);
  • explosions (explosions of clouds, tanks or solids such as ammonium nitrate);
  • BLEVE accidents;
  • the spread of harmful gases emitted during the combustion process;
  • the impact of the accident on people and building structures, etc.

In addition to modelling the distribution of the direct consequences of an accident, ELLE also performs individual and social risk modelling with these software programs.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

ELLE offers its clients services in the area of occupation health and safety in conformity with the requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 723 of September 8, 2008 “Regulations Regarding the Requirements for Competent Authorities and Competent Specialists in Labour Protection Issues and the Procedures for Assessing Competence”

The Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia has granted ELLE the status of the competent authority in the field of occupational health and safety.

We offer the following services in the area of occupational health and safety:

  • Development and update of OHS system;
  • Assessment of work environmental risks;
  • Maintenance of OHS system;
  • Training of employees;
  • Assessment of personal protective equipment;
  • Organization of fire safety issues;
  • Evaluation of the explosive atmospheres at work.

For the assessment of risks in work environment, ELLE applies the most appropriate risk assessment method and risk assessment criteria for each company considering the specifics of its operations. The labour protection services cover both the preparation of the necessary documentation as well as the inspection of the facilities and the compliance assessment of the existing activity.

Explosive atmospheres may develop where work equipment contains or is used to handle flammable, highly flammable or extremely flammable substances in the form of gas, vapor, mist or dust.

ELLE also offers to perform an explosive work environment (ATEX) assessment in your company.

Explosive work environment risk assessment is carried out and the respective documentation is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the regulatory enactments of the Republic of Latvia regarding the assessment of the risk caused by an explosive environment (Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 300 of June 10, 2003 “Labour Protection Requirements at Work in Explosive Atmospheres” and Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 231 of June 19, 2016 “Regulations Regarding Equipment and Protective Systems Used in an Explosive Atmosphere”).

These regulations require that in case of an explosive environment in the workplace the company must:

  • Carry out explosion risk assessment and classification of workplace safety areas, based on the frequency of occurrence and duration of explosive environment;
  • Set requirements for protective equipment and choice and use of protection systems depending on the explosive zone.

In order to meet the requirements of regulatory enactments regarding explosive environments, we offer to develop “Document on protection against explosive environmental risk”, which includes the following:

  • description of explosive environment risk sources;
  • organizational measures to prevent explosions;
  • technical and organizational measures for prevention or mitigation of explosive atmosphere risk;
  • description of the use of the equipment depending on workplace classification area;
  • workplace compliance assessment based on the results of site inspections;
  • action plan for risk reduction.

The services are provided by competent occupational health and safety and fire safety specialists with many years of experience in the fields of occupational health and safety, fire safety and explosive atmospheres.

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