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Project Level Training for Quantitative
PM Hot-Spot Analyses

EPA and DOT have jointly developed a three-day training course on completing quantitative PM hot-spot analyses according to EPA's "Transportation Conformity Guidance for Quantitative Hot-spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas". Additional information is included below on this course, including a more detailed course description, information on what participants will need to do to prepare before they attend this course, and the schedule for upcoming courses across the country. There is no registration fee for this course.

This page will be updated as additional materials are developed or training sessions scheduled.

The course was revised in November 2013 to include updates based on the latest versions of AERMOD and CAL3QHCR, as well as other improvements. Additionally, the California version of the course includes updates to reflect CA's EMFAC2011 emissions model and EPA's 2012 PM NAAQS final rule. The materials included below are for this latest version of the training.

Course Description

This three-day course provides detailed, hands-on instruction on how to complete a quantitative PM hot-spot analysis in accordance with EPA's guidance. The focus of the course is how to use the MOVES emissions model and AERMOD and CAL3QHCR air quality dispersion models to complete these analyses, but the training also includes discussion of the applicable transportation conformity policy guidance. (For course offerings in California only, the EMFAC emissions model will be taught instead of MOVES. See Special Requirements for California Classes below.)

This course is geared towards state and local agency staff who will be completing these analyses, as well as those who may be reviewing, approving, or otherwise assessing hot-spot analyses. Previous modeling experience is not necessary, although familiarity with the MOVES (EMFAC in California), AERMOD, and CAL3QHCR models may be helpful.

The first day of the course is an overview of the guidance and instruction on using MOVES at the project level for PM hot-spot analyses. The second day includes guidance on selecting an air quality model, finding and using data, and placing air quality modeling receptors, followed by instruction on using the AERMOD dispersion model to complete air quality modeling for an analysis. The final day describes how to use CAL3QHCR for these analyses, obtain background monitoring data, and calculate design values and determine conformity for a project. An agenda (PDF) (1p, 493K)  for this course is available.

The course includes class discussion and numerous hands-on exercises, including a hypothetical project that will be carried through the course as an example of a quantitative PM hot-spot analysis.

Note that the course is scheduled to run 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. As most elements of the course build on each other, participants should be prepared to attend the entire class to obtain the full benefits of the training.

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Course Requirements

To participate in a training session:

  • Contact the local training sponsor prior to the training to sign up for a particular session. Due to the fact that this is a hands-on, technical course, class space will be limited to ensure an adequate participant-instructor ratio. The local training sponsor should be contacted to determine availability for a particular class and reserve a slot. The local contact will also provide more information about the locations and times for the training. Confirmed sessions and the contact information for local training sponsors are listed below.
  • Read EPA's PM Hot-spot Guidance before attending the course. Being familiar with the guidance will allow participants to maximize their training time when in class. See above link to obtain a copy of the guidance.

Important Note: The remaining information provided in this section covers course requirements for any class not located in California. Those attending a course located in California should instead follow the instructions provided in the below section entitled Special Requirements for California Classes.

When attending the training, course participants will need to bring a laptop computer and complete the following two actions on that computer prior to the course:

  1. Install and test the MOVES2010b model
  2. Download the ZIP file of course presentations and training materials
Details on these steps are provided below:
  1. Install and test the MOVES2010b model.
    MOVES2010b is the most recent version of MOVES that EPA has released. Instructors will not be able to troubleshoot any installation problems during the course, so it is very important that any installation issues be resolved before course participants arrive at the course. The MOVES2010b model, including instructions for downloading and installation, can be found at www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm. Please note that each participant should make arrangements with her/his agency's technical support staff to install MOVES2010b several weeks before the course, and that "administrative rights" are necessary to install the model and fully participate in the course exercises.

    MOVES2010b should be tested prior to attending the three-day course. To test MOVES, users should double-click the "MOVES Master" icon on their desktop. After 10-60 seconds, a screen should appear with the MOVES version and copyright information. The user should click "OK". The MOVES graphical user interface will then appear with no additional pop-up messages. This generally indicates that MOVES was installed correctly and is accessing the default database properly. Users should also check the command prompt (DOS window) to make sure there are no ERRORS or "MYSQL Exceptions". Users should email mobile@epa.gov for assistance if any pop-error messages or command prompt error messages appear.

    Special note for trainings in California:  MOVES should not be installed. See Special Requirements for California Classes for information on installing the EMFAC2011 model.

  2. Download all course presentations and training materials.  The materials for the course provided here should be downloaded and brought to class. We strongly recommend that participants bring paper copies of the course presentations and the packet of handouts found in the "Presentations and Handouts" folder of the ZIP file. This will facilitate learning the material and taking notes during the hands-on portions of the training. Paper copies will not otherwise be provided. For the presentations, printing either 2 or 4 pages to a sheet is recommended (this can be done using your printer's output or finishing options).

    The ZIP file containing the course materials is here: PM Hot-spot 3-Day Training Files(ZIP) (60M)

    Special note for trainings in California: These course materials should not be downloaded. See Special Requirements for California Classes for the materials to be downloaded for California training sessions.

    Instructions for using the ZIP file:
    • Save the ZIP file to your computer and unzip ("extract") it before you arrive. Once unzipped, you should have a folder called "PM Hot-spot 3-Day Training Files" containing multiple subfolders and files.
    • We recommend putting the unzipped folder on your desktop or some other place where it is easily accessible during the training course.
    • Do not change the folder structure of the training materials, as that will make it difficult to find the appropriate files during the course.

    Contents of the PM Hot-spot 3-day Training folder (ZIP file):
    • Presentations and Handouts. Contains presentations for all seven course modules and a class handout packet. It is recommended these be printed out and brought to the course (see above).
    • MOVES Files. Includes the MOVES run specifications, input, and output files used in the class. The MOVES model is not included in the download - see previous note about installing MOVES prior to class.
    • AERMOD Files. Includes the AERMOD model (dated 12345) and associated input and output files used in the course.
    • CAL3QHCR Files. Includes the latest approved version of the CAL3QHCR model (dated 13196) and associated input and output files used in the course. (Note that previous versions of this training included a draft version of CAL3QHCR that was not approved and cannot be used for project-level analyses). See EPA's SCRAM website for more information on the latest approved version of CAL3QHCR: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/dispersion_prefrec.htm#cal3qhc.
    • DV Calculation Files. Includes selected AERMOD and CAL3QHCR output files and spreadsheets used to complete design values calculations for the example analyses. The files contain the September 2013 update to the PM2.5 design value script.

    Note that both AERMOD and draft CAL3QHCR models are included in the ZIP file. "Administrative rights" are not required to download or run these models.

Questions about installing MOVES should be directed to mobile@epa.gov. Questions about downloading the course materials should be directed to Dresser.Chris@epa.gov. Questions about registering for individual classes should be addressed to the local contact person for that class (see below).

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Special Requirements for California Classes

Due to differences in the emissions model used, separate training materials have been developed for California, consistent with EPA's guidance. This training is currently based on the EMFAC2011 model. This section describes the specific course requirements for those attending a training session located in California only. For these courses, participants will need to bring a laptop computer and complete the following 3 actions on that computer prior to the course:

  1. Install the EMFAC2011 model
  2. Download the ZIP file of course presentations and training materials
  3. Install MySQL and the MySQL Query Browser

Details on these steps are provided below:

  1. Install the EMFAC2011 model. EMFAC2011 is the most recent version of EMFAC that EPA has approved for use in California. Instructors will not be able to troubleshoot any installation problems during the course, so it is very important that any installation issues be resolved before participants arrive at the course. The EMFAC2011 model can be found at http://www.arb.ca.gov/msei/modeling.htm. It will be necessary to download the relevant parts of EMFAC used in project-level hot-spot analyses. These include: EMFAC-SG, EMFAC-LDV, and EMFAC-PL, each requiring a separate installation. Please note that each participant should make arrangements with her/his agency's technical support staff to install EMFAC2011 several weeks before the course, and that "administrative rights" are necessary to install the model and fully participate in the course exercises.

  2. Download all course presentations and training materials.  The materials for the course provided here should be downloaded and brought to class. We strongly recommend that participants bring paper copies of the course presentations and the packet of handouts found in the "Presentations and Handouts" folder of the ZIP file. This will facilitate learning the material and taking notes during the hands-on portions of the training. Paper copies will not otherwise be provided. For the presentations, printing either 2 or 4 pages to a sheet is recommended (this can be done using your printer's output or finishing options).

    The ZIP file containing the course materials is here: PM Hot-spot 3-Day Training - California (ZIP) (45M)

    Instructions for using the ZIP file:
    • Copy the ZIP file to your computer and unzip ("extract") it before you arrive. Once unzipped, you should have a folder called "PM Hot-spot 3-Day Training Files-California" containing multiple subfolders and files.
    • We recommend putting the unzipped folder on your desktop or some other place where it is easily accessible during the training course.
    • Do not change the folder structure of the training materials, as that will make it difficult to find the appropriate files during the course.

    Contents of the PM Hot-spot 3-day Training folder (ZIP file):
    • Presentations and Handouts. Contains presentations for all seven course modules and a class handout packet. It is recommended these be printed out and brought to the course (see above).
    • EMFAC Files. Includes the EMFAC input and output files used in the class. The EMFAC model is not included in the download - see previous note about installing EMFAC prior to class.
    • AERMOD Files. Includes the AERMOD model (dated 12345)and associated input and output files used in the course.
    • CAL3QHCR Files. Includes the latest approved version of the CAL3QHCR model (dated 13196) and associated input and output files used in the course. (Note that previous versions of this training included a draft version of CAL3QHCR that was not approved and cannot be used for project-level analyses). See EPA's SCRAM website for more information on the latest approved version of CAL3QHCR: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/dispersion_prefrec.htm#cal3qhc.
    • DV Calculation Files. Includes selected AERMOD and draft CAL3QHCR output files and spreadsheets used to complete design values calculations for the example analysis. The files contain the September 2013 update to the PM2.5 design value script.

    Note that both AERMOD and CAL3QHCR models are included in the ZIP file. "Administrative rights" are not required to download or run these models.

  3. Install MySQL and the MySQL Query Browser  MySQL and the MySQL Query Browser should be installed from the MOVES2010a installation suite developed by EPA. This is simply to minimize installation problems and help ensure the proper configuration; the MOVES model itself will not be downloaded. Those with MySQL already installed in their laptop for other purposes do not need to reinstall MySQL.

    The following are directions for installing the scripts:

    1. Go to EPA MOVES web site (www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/moves-docum.htm#moves2010a), read the download instructions on the web page, and then download the MOVES 2010a installation zip file. Do not download the MOVES2010b installation suite.
    2. Unzip MOVES2010aInstallationSuite.zip.
    3. Run setup.exe. After initial welcome screens, an installation interface with multiple tabs will appear.
    4. Go directly to 4th tab ("Setup MySQL 5.1.32") and use it to install MySQL 5.1.32. This is the most important part of the installation; view the step-by-step instructions included under this tab to ensure it is installed correctly.
    5. Go to 6th tab ("Install Query Browser") and install the Query Browser. Step-by-step instructions are also included under this tab to ensure a straightforward installation.
    6. After a successful installation, Query Browser should be available at "Start -> All Programs -> MySQL -> MySQL Query Browser".

Reminder:  There is no need to interact or download any programs in the installation interface other than those specifically described above. For example, neither Java nor MOVES should be installed.

Questions about downloading the course materials, EMFAC, or MySQL should be directed to Dresser.Chris@epa.gov. Questions about registering for individual classes should be addressed to the local contact person for that class (see below).

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Upcoming Courses

When additional sessions are confirmed, EPA will provide the date, location, and contact information here. Please contact conformity-hotspot@epa.gov or Meg Patulski to suggest a location or express interest in hosting this course.

Completed Courses

EPA has already held training at the following locations:

Columbus, OH
Seattle, WA
Newark, NJ
Atlanta, GA
Sacramento, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Baltimore, MD
Denver, CO
Frankfort, KY
Madison, WI
Los Angeles, CA

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