50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2017

Lakes Environmental Consultants Inc: Breaking New Ground in Environmental Sciences with its Innovative Software Solutions

There’s a rapid change in the condition of the Earth’s environment due to the effects of expanding population, industrialization, urbanization and extensive use of natural resources. These increasing demands have caused threats to biodiversity, increased environmental pollution, and further degraded ecosystems worldwide. Therefore, as our environment continues to change, so does the need to become increasingly aware of the problems that we all face. The need for new technologies and solutions catering to these problems has become a vital necessity. To face these challenges, Lakes Environmental was founded to supply robust and easy-to-use environmental software, training, and services to consulting companies, industry, governmental agencies, academia, and environmental interest groups. Since 1995, Lakes Environmental has been recognized internationally for its technologically advanced software and exceptional expertise in the area of IT solutions for environmental sciences. It is also the largest supplier of IT solutions to estimate emissions inventories for criterial pollutants, air toxics and greenhouse gases with over 1,000 installations worldwide. Their IT solutions are utilized worldwide by clients to fulfill corporate governance and accountability responsibilities, meet stakeholder diligence expectations, implement environmental risk management programs, achieve environmental stewardship goals and demonstrate compliance with environmental regulatory programs.

“We hold 98% of the German market, almost 100% of the Canadian and Latin American markets, and approximately 70% of sales in the USA,” says Lakes Environmental’s CEO, Dr. Jesse The’. Lakes Environmental’s mission is to provide high quality, reliable, and affordable software solutions to environmental experts. Their dedicated sales and technical support experts are committed to focusing on the individual needs of their clients and always strive to provide a complete and unmatched response time to their enquiries. The company’s dedicated team of senior software developers and subject matter experts create the most reliable and user-friendly software solutions available in today’s market.  The firm’s staff hold extensive advanced degrees and expertise in Air Dispersion Modeling, Compliance Assurance, Emergency Release, Emissions Management, Risk Assessment, Air Quality Forecasting and other specialized fields in atmospheric sciences.

Prowess of Lakes Environmental

Reducing and Controlling Emissions with Air Dispersion Modeling & Compliance Assurance

Air dispersion modeling uses information about emission sources and meteorological conditions to calculate the movement of a pollutant through the atmosphere and its concentration at specific points. The most commonly used regulatory air dispersion model is AERMOD. It is applicable to a wide range of buoyant or neutrally buoyant emissions up to a range of 50 km. It is also suitable for applications in complex terrain and urban dispersion scenarios. Other models used by Lakes Environmental and its clients include AERSCREEN, ARTM, AUSTAL2000, CALPUFF, SCICHEM, WRF-CHEM, and the recently completed mobile Transportation Air Quality System (TRAQS).

Compliance assurance is accomplished by tracking emissions and their resulting concentrations, often in a real-time setting, in order to demonstrate compliance with environmental air quality regulations.  Lakes Environmental’s premier compliance assurance solution is their FETS-RT Web IT system, which provides real-time and forecast modeling designed to alert facility operators that pollutants concentrations are predicted to exceed allowable concentrations. Armed with this information, facilities are able to implement proactive mitigation strategies thereby avoiding exceedances of regulatory thresholds;resulting in compliance assurance and protection of human health and the environment. FETS-RT Web performs continuous air dispersion modeling runs to project the most probable outcomes for a collection of user-defined operating scenarios. FETS-RT Web fully integrates and automates incorporation of real-time emissions data, forecast meteorology, and real-time data from ambient air monitoring stations, to provide clients with situational awareness concerning how their current or planned operations are predicted to impact air quality. 

Analyzing Accident Scenarios with Emergency Release Modeling

Emergency release modeling is a specific kind of air dispersion modeling that deals with accidental releases of pollutants to the environment. Emergency release modeling often deals with highly toxic or explosive pollutants that often behave differently in the atmosphere such as in the case of dense gases that can flow downhill following terrain features. Emergency release modeling capabilities are essential for protecting the health and safety of onsite workers and the public during an actual release; and serve a key role in the development of emergency response plans.  Lakes Environmental’s emergency response software solutions include products such as SLAB View, SCIPUFF View, and SEVEX View. The SLAB View software application is a graphical user interface for the U.S. EPA SLAB model which is an atmospheric dispersion model for denser-than-air releases. This model is an ideal tool to predict hazardous zones and potential impacts of accidental releases, and is commonly used in development of risk management plans.

SCIPUFF View is a proven off-the-shelf Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosive (CBRNE) modeling and  forecast solution. The SCIPUFF model is extensively utilized by world-wide military agencies (e.g., DOD) to perform CBRNE modeling in protection of troops and deployed field assets.  SEVEX View is an advanced 3D complex terrain gas model. It can provide realistic modeling of complex three dimensional emergency releases.

Emissions Tracking and Management Systems

Emissions management involves the calculation, collection, analysis and reporting of emission data from a variety of sources. Data regarding the release of pollutants to the atmosphere may be used to create inventories or to run air dispersion models. Lakes Environmental’s emission management solutions include AQMIS Cloud, GHG Web, FETS Web, and Emissions View.

AQMIS Cloud is a complete Air Quality Management Information System and includes emission inventory, air dispersion modeling, ambient monitoring, permitting and compliance, GIS/Mapping, human health risk assessment and reporting capabilities.  AQMIS is a proven solution used by numerous governments, regulatory agencies, and industrial clients.

GHG Web is an inventory and reporting tool which provides a standardized approach to calculating and reporting an organization’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions.

FETS Web is a facility level emissions inventory and real-time and forecasting modeling system for tracking emissions impacts from a collection of processes.

Emissions View is a comprehensive emissions inventory package for state-wide emission inventories.

Evaluating Human Health Risks

Risk assessment involves modeling the fate and transport of pollutants beyond their dispersion in the air and into other environmental media compartments such as soil, water, sediment, vegetation, and animal tissue. Transport through mechanisms such as deposition, run-off and bioaccumulation are considered with an overall objective of assessing the impact of pollutants on people and the environment as pollutants travel up the food chain. For conducting a comprehensive multi-pathway risk assessment based on the US EPA Human Health Risk Assessment Protocol (HHRAP), the IRAP View program is used. And the advanced ecological risk assessment program, EcoRisk View, helps in conducting a comprehensive multi-pathway risk assessment based on the US EPA Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol (SLERAP).

Knowing the CEO, Jesse L. Thé

Jesse is the CEO and founder of Lakes Environmental and a professor at the University of Waterloo. He is the senior author of AERMOD View, IRAP View, TEISS View, SLAB View, SCREEN View, and WRPLOT View.

His passion for developing IT solutions for protecting the environment led to the founding of Lakes Environmental along with Cristiane L. Thé and Michael A. Johnson. They knew that the market for their product and services was much smaller than other IT fields but that didn’t stop them from moving forward and developing IT solutions to protect the environment. Lakes Environmental is proud of its accomplishments in empowering their clients to reduce emissions of air toxics and GHG and ultimately improving the environment and protecting human health around the world. 

“We truly believe that we should dedicate our lives to something that we enjoy and that contributes to a better world.”