Proposal – Fine Particulate Continuous Monitoring
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Environmental Problem Statement
There is a need for near real-time fine particulate monitoring to alert the public about the quality of air (AIRNOW), to develop quality state implementation plans (SIPs), and to support ongoing fine particulate studies. The continuous monitoring methods currently available do not consistently provide data that is comparable to the Federal Reference Method (FRM).
Definition of the Technology Challenge
The federal reference monitoring method to determine the fine particulate attainment status of an area is a filter-based monitoring method. A known quantity of ambient air is drawn through a pre-weighed filter for a 24-hour period; the filter is then collected, equilibrated at a consistent temperature and humidity, and reweighed. It is a defined, repeatable method that has legal meaning.
The current continuous monitoring methods do not always correlate well to the FRM when used across the nation. This leads to confusion for both the scientists and the public who use continuous data for fine particulate studies. It also may cause confusion for the customers of the AIRNOW Web site and may lead to questions about the quality of fine particulate monitoring data.
As the first steps of this project, the action team would like to do an in-depth nationwide comparison of the data produced by each type of continuous fine particulate monitor to the FRM data and to collocated speciation data. The team would like to determine whether the quality of continuous data meets or exceeds predetermined acceptance criteria. If it does not, the team would like to work with the manufacturer to implement technological changes suggested by the analysis.
Milestone, Actions, and Due Dates
Currently, state and local partners have many continuous monitors collocated with FRM monitors. Data quality acceptance criteria have been developed, but funding is needed to hire a contractor for the data comparison analysis.