Verbio Biodiesel Canada


  • Eastern Canada

The Challenge:

Verbio Biodiesel Canada Corporation produces biodiesel and crude grade glycerin on an industrial scale in Welland, Ontario. Verbio was in the process of amending its existing Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to accommodate a future expansion of operations when it became aware of two planning applications for separate development proposals. The developments comprised residential subdivisions with a number of uses, including single-detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, schools, parks, and mixed-use lots.

The Innovation:

Aercoustics was engaged to quantify the noise impacts and help navigate the potential risks with a new neighbouring noise-sensitive land use. Our team reviewed the plans for the subdivisions to ensure appropriate sound-level limits will be met. We built a 3D noise-prediction model based on detailed topography information, site measurements, and specifications of proposed equipment. Using this model, we predicted the noise at the future subdivisions and identified some potential compliance issues at some of the proposed dwellings. The developer’s noise consultant had considered the facility based on the information available, but there were gaps in the noise control design due to a lack of detailed sound data and operational information. Using the potential dwellings’ final grading information provided by the developer, we came to a consensus on the height and extent of a combination berm and fence acoustic barrier to protect the rear yards of dwellings along the property line. The development proposed an acoustical Class 4 designation for the dwellings directly adjacent to the Verbio facility. This led to an interesting evaluation of compliance at the second row of dwellings, which retained the regular Class 2 sound level limits up to 10 dB more stringent than dwellings across the street. After careful consideration of the risk of noise complaints from new neighbours balanced with the headroom for future expansion, Verbio deemed the Class 4 designation acceptable. Throughout the process, the Aercoustics team facilitated discussions between Verbio’s plant manager, the developer and its noise consultant, the Town of Welland, and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). Not only was the client advised on the required limits, the Aercoustics team also provided guidance on the implications of the acoustical Class 4 designation and how to minimize the risk of future noise complaints.