Ambient Monitoring

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Characterization of Ambient PM2.5 in the Upper Midwest Steubenville Comprehensive Air Monitoring Project (SCAMP) NETL / OST Monitoring Site Air Quality Database and Analytical Tool Ambient PM2.5 Monitoring Supersite Semi-volatile Organics in PM Upper Ohio River Valley Project (UORVP) Great Smoky Mts. Project (GSMP) Southern Fine Particulate Monitoring Project (SRI)

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The DOE-NETL ambient monitoring program is designed to support the goal of obtaining a clearer understanding of how coal-fired power plants and other major point and non-point sources contribute to ambient PM2.5, regional haze, and human exposure. NETL focuses on the upper Ohio River valley as the region of primary interest because of its high concentration of large coal-fired power plants whose emissions are intermingled with one of the largest regional urban complexes in the United States. This region represents an ideal field laboratory to apply advanced methods for establishing a combination of local and regional source-receptor relationships, providing a severe "stress test" for these methods. The study of particulate matter (PM) in a region that is believed to be heavily influenced by power plant emissions will also provide guidance for developing future emission reduction technology.

Ambient Monitoring Sites in Upper Ohio River Valley
Ambient Monitoring Sites in 
Upper Ohio River Valley
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Many of the sites in NETL's ambient monitoring program include both federal reference methods (FRM) and non-FRM samplers that allow for the collection and detailed chemical characterization of the samples. Continuous in-situ monitors are also deployed for mass and chemical composition and for measuring the concentration of important gas species such as SO2, CO, NH3, O3, and reactive nitrogen. In addition, meteorological information, including upper and lower wind speed and direction, relative humidity, precipitation, UV radiation, and temperature, is being collected.

The data obtained from the DOE-NETL monitoring sites will be used to support source attribution analyses, evaluate emission inventories and air quality models, measure trends, assess diurnal, seasonal, and annual variations in ambient fine-particulate and air toxics composition, support epidemiological and human-exposure studies, and evaluate regional haze and air toxic impacts. FRM performance will also be evaluated in terms of potential operational issues, such as particle volatilization. In addition, the sites will serve as research platforms for field-testing emerging ambient fine particulate monitoring equipment..