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Donnie Redmond NC DAQ Ambient Monitoring. Disclaimer I have no particular expertise with these new sensors I’m not a tech geek … but I live near RTP and.

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Presentation on theme: "Donnie Redmond NC DAQ Ambient Monitoring. Disclaimer I have no particular expertise with these new sensors I’m not a tech geek … but I live near RTP and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Donnie Redmond NC DAQ Ambient Monitoring

2 Disclaimer I have no particular expertise with these new sensors I’m not a tech geek … but I live near RTP and can go to the workshops!

3 Recent NC Experience Permit hearing comments on cement plant at the coast Medical doctor did survey with hand-held monitor “Followed sampling protocol used in academic research” “PM 2.5 levels ranging from mid-30 to mid-40 μg/m 3. The EPA’s current standards state that levels should not exceed 12 μg/m 3.” “Real-time monitoring differs from the NC DAQ monitoring protocol in that these monitors measure actual exposure levels of PM 2.5 directly in real life settings—parents strolling their babies, children playing in parks, young and mature adults running, playing sports and bicycling.” NC DAQ monitoring station is “remote” and “offline” Hearing officer response … Wow, this looks pretty bad!

4 Apples and Oranges TSI 8534 Hand Held Dusttrak DRX Industrial dust monitor Device is not an FRM or FEM Took a five-minute average at each location Compared it to daily standard (12 μg/m 3 ) Essentially a three-year average of 24-hour averages Would not have violated the annual standard (35 μg/m 3 ) Did not take any readings at our monitor Siting questions Sites used not likely suitable for ambient monitor FRMs are non-continuous; FEM has maintenance periods Follow our webpage for one-hour spikes on continuous monitors

5 The more important issue Citizens aren’t going to understand the EPA standards and siting requirements They don’t know the difference between FRM, FEM, BAM, TEOM, PM10, PM2.5, TSP, 1-in-12, etc They may not even trust the government monitoring But they have these new gadgets and they’re gonna use them! What are we going to do about?

6 North Carolina perspective Challenges* Citizen groups “Ah ha! Now we can do our own testing and see what the government has been hiding from us!” Management and bean counters “This stuff is cool and a lot cheaper than what you’re doing!” Monitoring staff “Those things are all junk and they don’t work! (Thinking: Uh oh! What if this stuff works and they don’t need me anymore?!)” * Donnie’s real or perceived challenges

7 North Carolina perspective Opportunities! New tools to Respond to citizen complaints Target compliance activities More data for modelers Supplement ambient network to better select sites But must be able to “trust” the technology

8 Respond to citizen complaints Odors Animal operations Gasoline vapor recovery Suspicions Not in my neighborhood

9 Target compliance activities “Drive by” spot checks Mounted in regional office staff vehicles Less reliance on visible emissions or complaints Screening only – not basis for actual enforcement Follow up with more traditional methods

10 More data for modelers They are accustomed to imperfect data Vehicle counts, emissions inventories, met data Local data preferred over national default value Imperfect ambient data still useful Focus on relative vs. absolute Tweak the model to resemble what really happened

11 Supplement ambient network Site location Instead of modeling or guessing Array of inexpensive devices Absolute values may be off Pay attention to relative values Fill in gaps in network

12 Can you “trust” the technology Know the limitations of specific devices Fast, cheap, or good – pick two Attainment monitor: must be good Accept higher uncertainty for other purposes Initial complaint response: fast and cheap Maybe ±30% is good enough for screening

13 Info, verification Not only have technical info available but Some level of training for the folks who are selling, operating, and using the data Sales reps may not understand what they’re offering Non-technical operators/users who don’t know CO from CO2 75 ppb from 0.075 ppm Managing expectations Maybe it gives you a number It’s still not an FRM

14 NWS has been here National Weather Service has learned how to incorporate data gathered by the public “The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a public-private partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality. In fact, the web address,, stands for weather quality assurance.”

15 Summary Probably very useful tools coming out! Expect them to supplement (not supplant) existing network Need means to sort out the good stuff from junk

16 Questions? Donnie Redmond North Carolina Division of Air Quality Ambient Monitoring Section Chief 919-707-8468

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