Air Resource Specialists, Inc.

Projects

Air Quality and Meteorological Monitoring

National Park Service Gaseous Pollutant Monitoring Program
ARS has been the prime contractor for the field and data management operations of the National Park Service Gaseous Pollutant Monitoring Program (GPMP) since 1988 and 1996, respectively. Two major goals for the GPMP are to monitor criteria pollutants (especially ozone) and, in close cooperation with the EPA Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNet), dry deposition in national parks. This is a dynamic monitoring program continually refining its methods and exploring new technologies.

Environmental Protection Agency - Carbon aerosol sampler deployment
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards embarked on a long-term project to obtain consistent carbon measurements at its rural and urban aerosol speciation sites. The plan calls for replacing the carbon samplers at EPA's Chemical Speciation Network sites with stand-alone carbon aerosol samplers with added flow control and diagnostic monitoring capabilities. ARS developed operational software for the samplers and collaborated with EPA, the National Park Service, and individual states to procure, acceptance test, and install the samplers.

Wyoming Air Quality Monitoring Network
ARS operates a multi-site air quality monitoring network for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality - Air Quality Division. The current network consists of nine permanent and three mobile sites throughout the state, designed to document visibility, ambient air quality, and meteorological conditions associated with point, mobile, and other emissions sources. Of special concern is the rapid development of fossil fuel-rich areas. Parameters monitored at the sites include:

  • Gases: O3, NO-NO2-NOX-NOY, SO2, CO, hydrocarbons, and HAPs
  • Particulates: Continuous PM10 and speciated PM2.5
  • Visibility: High resolution digital camera images and light scattering (nephelometers)
  • Meteorology: Standard parameters

Live air quality data and images for this network are available at http://www.WyVisNet.com.

SEARCH network audits
ARS was awarded a four-year contract to perform independent quality assurance audits for the Southeastern Aerosol Research Characterization Study (SEARCH), funded by the Electric Power Research Institute and operated by Atmospheric Research and Analysis, Inc. The SEARCH network is comprised of four urban/rural monitoring site pairings in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. Parameters measured at the monitoring sites include:

  • Gases: O3, SO2, NOx, NOy, total nitrates, CO, and mercury vapor
  • Particulates: PM2.5 and PM10 total and speciated mass using Federal Reference Method samplers, dichotomous samplers, speciation samplers, TEOMs, and thromolytic organic and elemental carbon analyzers
  • Visibility: Components of light extinction from nephelometers (scattering) and aethelometers (absorption/black carbon)
  • Meteorology: Winds (sonic anemometers), temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, precipitation, and barometric pressure

National Park Service Visibility Monitoring Program
ARS supports the optical and scene monitoring portion of the National Park Service (NPS) Visibility Monitoring Program. The NPS is a founding member of the IMPROVE Program, which operates a network of over 100 speciated aerosol monitors nationwide. ARS operates 14 optical monitoring sites for the NPS, each of which is collocated with an IMPROVE aerosol sampler. ARS also supports 17 digital Webcameras for the NPS; near real-time images can be found on the NPS Web site at http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/WebCams/index.cfm.

USDA-Forest Service Air Program
ARS provides USDA-Forest Service managers with accurate and state-of-the-art monitoring instrumentation; air monitoring technical support services; validation, analysis, and reporting products; and Web site applications, including:

  • The Air Quality Images Web site, which provides real-time display of visibility and air quality conditions for wilderness locations throughout the United States (http://www.fsvisimages.com).
  • Acquiring, archiving, and distributing visibility, emissions, and meteorological data for the California Emissions Project. Correlations between plant emissions, meteorology, and visibility changes will be used to quantify impacts (if any) of daily startup signatures from gas turbine facilities.
  • Development of portable, solar-powered particulate samplers that can be quickly deployed to monitor prescribed and wildfire events.

Ammonia monitoring in the Upper Green River Basin, Wyoming
ARS teamed with Shell Exploration and Production Company and Colorado State University to initiate an ammonia monitoring study in the Upper Green River Basin, Wyoming. The nitrogen budget for this area has not been well characterized, yet the region is experiencing rapid development of natural gas resources with possible consequences of air quality and visibility impacts in the nearby Bridger Wilderness.

Arizona wilderness and urban visibility monitoring networks
ARS provides visibility technical support to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). ADEQ implemented a long-term urban visibility monitoring network and a wilderness visibility monitoring network. The overall goals of these networks are: to collect data in support of regulatory requirement; increase scientific understanding of visibility; and support ancillary efforts including public outreach, AIRNow PM2.5 reporting, PM2.5 forecasting, and fire programs. ADEQ currently operates 25 visibility monitoring sites (including nephelometers, transmissometers, high resolution Web cameras, and meteorology) which geographically cover much of the state of Arizona.