1. Introduction

1.1. What is AQS

AQS is the Air Quality System. Any system is composed of several components and AQS is no different. There are three major components of AQS that you should be aware of:

AQS Application

Most people find working with a database very confusing. So “front-ends” are built to help you out. These are the forms (screens that let you view and edit information) and reports (outputs that let you download and view data) that the user interacts with in order to navigate through the system. This document is focused on using the AQS application.

AQS Database

A relational database which houses the ambient air quality monitoring and related data.

Exchange Network (EN and the ENSC)

The Exchange Network (EN) is what the EPA and our data partners use to securely move data back and forth. This component of transfers and manages files to and from AQS. They have built the Exchange Network Services Center (ENSC) which is a webpage that allows you to use all of the EN functionality without using other, specialized EN software called a Node.

1.2. Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this users guide is to provide enough information on the use of AQS so that you can:

  • Run the application

  • Load raw and QA data

  • Create and modify site and monitor descriptive information

  • Get reports about your data

This is not a comprehensive guide covering every feature, menu item, etc. of AQS. Rather it is intended to provide enough information that a user can submit the necessary data to comply with grant conditions and applicable regulations.

1.3. How to use this Guide

We have chosen to put AQS documentation into a few large (indexed) web pages rather than many stand-alone documents. We have done this for several reasons:

  • There is a comprehensive table of contents.

  • Everything in this document should be accurate as of the date in the title.

  • The "find" function in your browser (usually CTRL-F) can be used to look for key terms.

  • The help feature within AQS will eventually be pointed to the same section within this document for consistency

  • We plan to cut the number of AQS documents down (27 on the "Manuals and Guides" page as of June 2013) to less than 10:

    1. AQS Users Guide (this document)

    2. AQS Reports Guide

    3. AQS Data Dictionary

    4. AQS Transaction Formats

    5. AQS Quick Reference Guide

    6. Any other AQS related documentation (e.g., P&A Transaction Generator)

Any comments or corrections to this document can be sent to mangus.nick@epa.gov

1.4. Getting Help with AQS

The best way to get help with AQS (whether it be a question on how to use the system, getting your password reset, reporting a problem, or asking for a new data entry code) is to contact the AQS help desk. There are also other on-line resources available.

1.4.1. AQS Help Desk

The helpdesk should be your initial contact for any user problems. Their hours are Monday-Friday 6:00am – 6:30pm Eastern Time.

If the problem relates to the EN, such as problems with your Exchange Network account, forgotten or expired password, or problems transferring files to AQS, you should contact EN Help Desk at 888-890-1995 (Option 2) or via email at helpdesk@epacdx.net. Their hours are Monday-Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm Eastern Time.

Email

The best way to contact the help desk is via email (unless you need a password reset, then the best way is to call) at:

Tip
Keep in mind that the help desk supports all EPA applications, not just AQS.

For most issues specific to AQS, your information has to be forwarded to an AQS specialist. This is why it is most efficient to use email (so the operator does not have to transcribe the call). To make it even more efficient, include as much detail as possible, such as the following, in your email:

  • In the subject line, include the term "AQS" so the operator knows where to forward the message

  • Your AQS user ID

  • The part of the application that you are having trouble with (the form name, report name, particular variable, or specific request)

  • Any error messages you received

  • Any data that is causing a problem

  • Any relevant output (a copy of a report page, a screen capture, etc.)

  • Include a full signature with name, phone number and email

Phone

If you need a password reset, or would prefer to use the phone, contact the help desk at:

1-866-411-4372

Mention that you are an "AQS user" as early as possible in the call to let the operator know how best to handle your issue.

Response Times

Different types of AQS questions have different target response times.

  • A password reset should be 0-1 hours (these are handled by the operator)

  • Help on how to use the system should be 0-3 days (these are handled by AQS help specialists)

  • Help on incompatible data, system problems, adding new methods, and more complicated issues have no set resolution time, but we should contact you within 2 weeks (these are handled by the AQS developers)

1.4.2. News

AQS provides user updates (system changes, downtime notifications, etc.) via an RSS feed here:

1.4.3. Websites

AQS has a documentation website with additional information available:

It contains:

  • Data Dictionary

  • Data Coding Manual

  • Lists of valid codes

The Exchange Network website has information about AQS XML file construction:

1.5. About the Data in AQS

At its core, AQS is a database. This is important to remember. Also, many people (rightly) find databases very confusing. So instead of talking about AQS in database technical jargon, we’ll talk about the type of data that exists in AQS.

1.5.1. Site Data

Identified by:
  • State code, county code, and Site Number OR

  • Tribal code and Site Number, if it is located on Native American lands

Old hands at AQS (and many of our reports) generally list site IDs in the following way:

SS-CCC-NNNN

where SS is the State FIPS code, CCC is the County FIPS code, and NNNN is the Site Number within the county. Leading zeroes are always included! For example:

01-089-0014

is Alabama, Madison County, Site Number 14.

If using Tribal site IDs, they are in the form:

TT-BBB-NNNN

where TT is the literally two capital T’s, BBB is the BIA Tribal code, and NNNN is the Site Number within the tribal lands. Leading zeroes are always included! For example:

TT-007-7002

is St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians of New York, Site Number 7002.

Description

Site information refers to where on earth the monitoring site is located. Such things as latitude/longitude coordinates, what geopolitical areas it is in (like what county, what city, what EPA Region, etc), and local names (such as local address and the local site name for example) are kept here. In addition, information about nearby roads is also stored with the site information.

1.5.2. Monitor Data

Identified by:
  • The site where the monitor is located AND

  • The pollutant code AND

  • POC – Parameter Occurrence Code. Used to uniquely identify a monitor if there is more than one device measuring the same pollutant at the same site.

For example monitor IDs are usually written in the following way:

SS-CCC-NNNN-PPPPP-Q

Which is the Site ID plus, PPPPP being the AQS 5-digit parameter code, and Q is the POC. For example:

01-089-0014-44201-2

is Alabama, Madison County, Site Number 14, ozone monitor, POC 2.

Description

For the purposes of AQS, a monitor does not refer to a specific piece of equipment. Instead, it reflects that a given pollutant (or other parameter) is being measured at a given site. Monitor description information covers several different types of information about how the monitor is configured. When was the monitor operational? How high is the probe? Where is the probe located? How close is this monitor to the highway? What monitoring networks does it belong to? What is the objective of this monitor? Who owns and operates this monitor? These are all good questions that can be answered with the monitor description information.

1.5.3. Ambient Air Quality Data

Identified by:
  • The monitor where the measurement was taken

  • The time when the sample was taken

Description

Raw data, also called sample data, is by far the most abundant data in the database. The raw data are the individual measurements collected from the monitors. To date, there are over 2 billion raw data values available through AQS.

1.5.4. Quality Assurance Data

Identified by:
  • The monitor or lab where the measurement was taken

  • The time when the sample was taken

Description

Quality assurance (QA) data is also a type of raw data (since it represents individual samples), but it is processed and stored differently by AQS so we include it as a separate category.

AQS will perform a major overhaul of how QA data is reported, processed, and stored during calendar year 2013.

1.5.5. Summary Data

Description

All of the data is submitted to AQS for one primary purpose: to determine the exposure of populations to certain pollutants. Since most of the health-related measurements are couched averages of various time lengths, the system creates multiple levels of summaries of the raw data. The data is summarized on a daily, quarterly, and annual basis. Additionally, if there is a national standard for pollutant with a special averaging time (such as a running 8-hour average for example), the system will create these summarized averages as well.

Details about how AQS calculates summaries is covered elsewhere.

1.5.6. Conclusion

So there you have it! Sites are established to monitor for many different pollutants. The monitors are located at these sites and include lots of descriptive information associated with these devices. Each monitor can collect a bunch of data. Each data point is collected at a given time by the monitor. Additional QA information is collected to ensure the monitors are working properly. And, finally, the data is summarized to show indicators of air quality associated with health.

2. Administration and Setup

2.1. Accounts, User IDs, and Passwords

Before using AQS, you must get the necessary user IDs and passwords.

To request an AQS user ID and password, complete the instructions on the AQS user registration page: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/airs/airsaqs/registration.htm

When you complete the instructions there, you will get AQS credentials (user ID and password) and if you will be submitting data, you will also get Exchange Network Service Center (ENSC) credentials.

Unfortunately, AQS and the ENSC use separate authentication systems so you must have separate accounts. However, you can synchronize your passwords. Passwords must be changed every 90 days. Do not (ever!) share your password with others.

2.2. Installing AQS

2.2.1. System Requirements

Hardware

IBM Compatible, Mac, or any computer that can run Java in a window

Disk space

180 MB (additional space will be needed for data files)

Memory/RAM

32 MB minimum, 64 MB or more recommended

CPU

1.2 GHz or faster

Display

1024 x 768 resolution or better; 256 colors or better

Peripherals

Mouse or touchpad

Network

Internet access

Operating System

Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8) or Mac OSX or any OS that can run Java in a window

Browser

Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome (Others may work but are untested by EPA)

Browser Options

Java plug in so that Java applets can run

Encryption: The following protocols are needed: SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0.

Pop Up Blocker: Must be "OFF" to let online reports appear.

Java

Java Runtime Environment

Additional Software

PDF reader

2.2.2. Installing / Running AQS

Launch AQS

To run the setup for AQS, go to the following address:

Note: You will always go to this site to launch AQS.

If you do not have Java installed you will be prompted to install it.

If you do have Java installed but are still prompted to install it, this means either your browser cannot find Java or AQS requires a newer version. The best way to resolve either of these issues is to:

  1. Uninstall all versions of Java

  2. Reinstall the latest version of Java

  3. Try navigating to AQS again. (If this fails to work, repeat the above but uninstall the browser also.)

Warnings

You may get warning messages when you attempt to run AQS.

Important
If you are asked to trust or install a certificate, answer YES.
Important
If you are asked to block potentially unsafe components, answer NO.

2.3. Completing Setup

2.3.1. Logging On

Open AQS by going to the application website

Tip
You may want to book mark this page, as it will be the starting point every time you access AQS.
Warnings

You may get warning messages when you attempt to run AQS.

Important
If you are asked to trust or install a certificate, answer YES.
Important
If you are asked to block potentially unsafe components, answer NO.
Log On Screen

The application may take several minutes to load. Then the following screen will be displayed (Note, all screens were captured in Windows XP, yours may look slightly different. Also, every screen is shown with numbered blue call-out circles that may or may not be referred to in the text):

AQS log on screen

(1) & (2) Enter your user ID and password in these fields.

(3) This is the database to connect to. Normally you will never change this.

(4) Hit the Connect button to log on after typing in your credentials.

(5) The standard federal data system access warning. By logging on, you consent to these terms.

Session Screen

After successfully logging on, you will see the "session" screen.

AQS sessions screen

Choose either (1) Read Only User or (2) Screening Group Access depending on what you wish to do during your session.

Read Only User

This allows access of all data in production status in the AQS database. It does NOT allow the user to view any data that is still being processed (i.e., “pre-production” data) or update any data. Users interested in retrievals/reports will probably want to select “Read Only User”.

Screening Group Access

Permits members of the selected screening group to view both production and pre-production data for monitors owned by that screening group. Each monitor and all data for that monitor is owned by only one screening group. Only screening group members with update authority may insert, update, or delete data for the screening group. While using this mode, the user cannot view data owned by other screening groups.

If you select this, a pop-up window with at list of all screening groups you have access to will be displayed. Select the one you want (so it is highlighted in blue) and press the OK button.

(3) This area contains our message of the day. It changes frequently and includes information you might need to know when using the database (e.g., known problems).

2.3.2. Completing Your User Profile

All users with access to the AQS have a user profile created by an AQS administrator. Please do your best to keep this information up-to-date.

From the main menu, select Admin > Security.

Select Admin then Security

This will take you to your user profile screen. Data in the top section of the screen is used to manage access and provide user feedback. Required fields are indicated by bolding and underlining of the field name. Verify that all required data is complete and correct. Be sure your email address is correct since AQS uses this address to send you results of batch jobs.

Changing Your Password

The bottom section of the screen has an area for you to reset your AQS password.

Password change area

To do this type in your new desired password and then retype it in the confirmation field. EPA has password rules and you will get a message if you are not compliant (it must be at least 8 characters, contain one upper case character, contain one number, contain no special characters, not be a dictionary word, and cannot start with a number). Click the OK button to change your password.

If you want your data displaying using the Tribal identifiers, select the Tribal User check mark then push the save (diskette) button or press F10.

Tribal Mode

If you would prefer to have the geographic portion of site ID’s in AQS presented in terms of Tribal ID rather than FIPS State - FIPS County ID, you can set that preference here. Select the checkbox labeled Tribal User near the bottom of the right-hand column.

You are not required to do this if you are a tribal user. Any user may opt to be a tribal user. You can deselect this any time as well. After making your selection, be sure to hit the Save button.

Being a Tribal user will change the format of Site IDs on all AQS forms and reports. Instead of the default geographic format of:

State FIPS Code - County FIPS Code - Site Number

Sites will be displayed in the following format:

TT - Tribal Code - Site Number

The "TT" is an indicator that the next field is a tribal code and not a county code. The Tribal Code is the BIA Tribal code. AQS is not allowed to establish non-BIA codes for tribes.

3. General Navigation

3.1. Screen Layout

Below is an image of the parts of the AQS application screen.

AQS screen orientation

(1) At the top is the AQS title bar.

(2) Below that is the menu bar.

(3) Then come the icons.

(4) The second title bar is the "form title bar" and contains the name of the form you are working on. In this case it is "Maintain Site". You current screening group (or "Read Only") is displayed in parentheses.

(5) The main part of the screen is the form area (because it usually looks like a form to fill out).

There may be a larger grey area around the application area.

At the very bottom of the screen is the "Status bar".

Status bar

This bar will display status messages, query information, error messages, hints on how to populate fields, and other useful information.

3.2. Icons

Each icon performs the following function.

Icon descriptions

Elsewhere in this document you will be instructed to do things like press the "save" or "execute query" buttons. This means to click on the appropriate icon button.

3.3. Forms and Tabs

AQS has many "forms". Some computer software calls these screens, in AQS we call them forms. This is because of their likeness to a paper form that must be filled in with data.

Basically, every menu item corresponds to a form. When the instructions say to go to or open the Maintain Monitor form, it means (1) select Maintenance from the menu bar and then (2) Monitor from the menu.

Maintain Monitor Menu Item

Within the form, there may be multiple tabs. A tab is a way to show additional information related to the topic (Maintain Monitor data) that will not easily fit on one screen. Clicking on a tab will show different set of data. For example, on the Maintain Monitor form, there are tabs for Monitor Basic, Sample Periods, Type Assignments, Agency Roles, etc.

Maintain Monitor Tabs

The (1) Maintain Monitor form with the (2) Monitor Basic, (3) Sample Periods, (4) Type Assignments, etc. tabs. This form has so many tabs, there is (5) an arrow to show the rest of the tabs that would not fit on the screen.

If you are familiar with the AQS data transactions, you may have noticed there is a strong correlation between the transactions and the forms and tabs. This is no coincidence, as the data submitted to AQS is always kept together: in transactions, on the forms within the application, and in the database itself. Hopefully the more you work with AQS, the more you will see the same information groups and the easier they will be to remember.

3.4. Lists of Values

Whenever you have to populate data in AQS and the field contents must be one of a list of values, AQS presents an LOV icon. LOV = List of Values. The LOV icon is a grey square with a downward pointing triangle in it. For example on the Maintain Monitors form, there is an LOV available for State Code (1).

LOV Icon on Maintain Monitors

When you click on this icon, the list of valid values is presented. This is usually a code, but the descriptions are listed with the codes. Here is the LOV for State Codes:

LOV with annotations

You can (1) use the scroll bar to scroll through the list until you find the value you need. You can then double click on it or select it and then select the OK button.

Alternatively, you can narrow the list by (2) typing text in the Find field (after the % character) and (3) pressing the find button (or hit the enter key).

For example, if you type the character "y" and hit enter, you will see:

LOV after search

This is the list of all state names that contain the letter "y". Note that the search is not case sensitive. Also, do not delete the "%" character; type your search term after it.

3.5. On Screen Queries

When you initially open a form, it will be empty (no data will be shown). To query data from the database into a form, do the following:

How to query a form

(1) Press the Enter Query icon. Note, when you first bring up a form, it is in enter query mode by default, so this is not necessary. However, if you want to run a different query later, you must press the cancel query button then this button. Reminder: if you leave the mouse still over an icon for a few seconds, its name will be displayed.

(2) - (6) Enter as many of the variables as you want to filter on. That is, if you want all of the data in North Carolina, enter just the state code. If you want the data for a particular county, enter the state code and county code. Etc. If you want data for a particular monitor, enter state code, county code, site ID, parameter, and POC. The more filters you populate, the less data that will be returned.

(7) Press the Execute Query button.

The data matching your search criteria will be returned to the screen.

(8) Use the first record, previous record, next record, and last record buttons to navigate through the data. If you navigate to a tab other than the leftmost tab (Monitor Basic in this example) you must navigate back to the leftmost tab to use the first record, previous record, next record, and last record buttons.

If you are in read-only mode, you are now "browsing" the data. You can look at it but may not change it.

If you are logged into a particular screening group, and have the role that allows you to update the data, you may now edit or add data and save the changes (see the next section).

Important
If you are logged into a screening group, only data from monitors belonging to that screening group will be displayed in your queries. If you are logged in as read only, all data in AQS is available for you to browse.

3.6. On Screen Data Entry

In many places in the AQS application, you will be allowed to enter (and save) data. If you are entering data, required fields are indicated by having their names in bold and underlined type. These fields must all be populated before you are allowed to save a record. Note that some forms require that fields on multiple tabs be populated before the data can be saved (principally the Site and Monitor forms).

Important
You must save any changes you make before leaving the form. Do this by pressing the save (diskette) icon, or the F10 key. If you do not save your changes, they will not be stored in the AQS database.

The same quality assurance checks that are applied to batch transactions are applied to on-line data entry. These are not applied until you hit the save button, so you will not know if your data is acceptable to AQS until you try to save it.

Tip
Save early and often.

3.7. Logging Off

AQS can be closed (and you logged off) by clicking on either the usual window close button (the red X on the top right for windows users) or the Exit icon.

Depending on what you are doing you may be asked whether you want to commit/save changes or if you are sure you want to exit. Answer appropriately.

You may also exit AQS by closing your browser window that AQS is running in, but this closes AQS without it prompting if you want to save any changes.

4. Batch Data Input for Raw Data

4.1. Batch Data Submission Overview

This chapter explains how to submit raw data to AQs in batch mode. The batch submission process is the series of steps you must perform to transfer a file of AQS transaction records at your location into the AQS database. The term "batch" is used because you are loading a batch of data records all at the same time.

The advantages of batch loading data are: it allows for mass entry of data, all processing happens without your interaction, and the system will notify you when the process is complete and provide you with results detailing the outcome.

There are a number of steps used to submit data from a text file into the AQS database. It is important to have a general understanding of the entire process before going into the details.

The required steps depend on the kind of data involved, but in a very broad sense, you must:

  • Transfer - move a data file to the EPA using the Exchange Network (node or ENSC)

  • Load - Run a batch process to Load this data into the AQS database

  • Post - after reviewing the results of load, flag your data as production-ready (available to all)

4.1.1. Formats

There are three data formats that may be submitted:

  • AQS transactions - the AQS pipe delimited transaction format introduced in 2001

  • XML - structured text data with <tags>

  • Legacy - the old mainframe 80 column width format (which will no longer be allowed after 12/31/2013)

The vast majority of users use the AQS transaction format, but what you use will probably depend on what your data acquisition system and/or analytical labs make available to you.

4.1.2. Data Compatible With Batch

Not all data in AQS can be loaded via the batch process. However the vast majority can be. Here is a list of the types of data that can be loaded via batch:

  • Site data

  • Monitor data

  • Raw (sample) data

  • Quality Assurance data

Here are the types of data that cannot be loaded via batch:

  • Comments (describing sites, monitors, audits, events, etc.)

  • Exceptional event definitions, data associations, and concurrence (for EPA staff only)

4.2. Batch Data Submission Flowchart

The following diagram shows the data flow to AQS, and we will discuss the process.

Batch process flow

Step 1: File

Create your file of ambient air data. Valid options are either text (.txt) files using the familiar delimited “Data Input Formats” or XML files (.xml) using the AQS Schema.

Step 2: ENSC

Transfer the file to AQS using the Exchange Network Services Center (ENSC).

You have two process control options from the ENSC:

Option 1 – Manually control the process in AQS as before: logon to AQS, choose your Screening Group, and proceed to the Batch screen.

Option 2 – Automatically process a file and use the ENSC exclusively. (Indeed, you can now bypass AQS entirely and do all your data processing via the ENSC.)

Step 3: STAGE

This step processes your file into AQS.

Step 4: LOAD

For anything other than Raw Data (i.e. sample measurements), the LOAD step is all that is needed. If you did not have errors in your file, you are done.

For Raw Data, the LOAD step now performs STAT/CR as well.

Step 5: POST

The POST step is the final step in submitting Raw Data. It moves data from where it can only be seen by members of your screening group to where it can be seen by any AQS user (and any EPA web application, and thus the public). It also updates all of the summary values (e.g., NAAQS durations, Daily, Annual, and Design Value if applicable) that the raw data contributes to. This also means that it will be used by EPA in any calculations (completeness, compliance, etc.) we do.

4.3. Selecting a Screening Group

Before loading data, you must be aware of your screening group. The concepts are the same whether using AQS or the ENSC.

Every user in AQS belongs to a screening group (or several screening groups). Each monitor in AQS is owned by a screening group. You can only manipulate data for monitors in the same screening group that you are in. You must select "screening group access" when logging into AQS and select which screening group you will use for your AQS session.

You must also have the correct data access role (e.g., ability to edit raw data) before you can change data. This role was assigned to you when you registered with AQS. Contact the help desk if you need new roles.

The AQS form for selecting screening group:

Selecting a Screening Group

(1) Select the Screening Group Access" button. This will cause a second window to pop up. (2) Select the screening group you want to use for this session. (3) Hit the OK button.

If you only belong to one screening group, there will only be one selection listed for you to make it. It should already be highlighted, so you can simply hit the OK button.

If you want to change screening groups, select "Session" from the menu and repeat this process.

4.4. Using the ENSC

The first step in any batch data submission to AQS takes place at the ENSC (Exchange Network Services Center). The ENSC is the only way to move data files from your organization to AQS.

You can either have your node submit the file to AQS via the ENSC with processing instructions (your IT department will have to set this up) or you can manually submit a file. To manually submit a file, follow these instructions.

The ENSC is at https://enservices.epa.gov/login.aspx. There is also a button on the AQS Batch Load form (Goto ENSC) that will open this web page.

ENSC front page

Type in your username (email address) and password you should have received.

4.4.1. ENSC Initial Setup

The first time you use the ENSC, you will have to add the AQS connection service to your list of services. After logging on, select the Exchange Network Services block (or tab).

ENSC pick services

In the Express Request box, type AQS in the search field and click on the Search button.

ENSC search AQS

You will get a page with one or more services listed. Click the "Send Info" link next to the one with Dataflow = AQS and Service Name = AQS Submit.

ENSC select AQS dataflow

4.4.2. Sending Data to AQS

This will take you to the AQS Submit screen.

ENSC AQS submission screen

Fill out the seven fields indicated.

(1) Select a document from your local computer or network. Type in the path or click browse to get a navigation window.

(2) Enter any email addresses you want information about the status of the file transfer sent to. Separate multiple addresses by commas. Generally this is your own email, but if you want to keep someone else informed, you may enter additional addresses.

(3) Enter you AQS user ID (not your ENSC user ID).

(4) Select the screening group you are submitting data for from the drop down menu.

(5) Select the file type (format) from the drop down menu. AQS text transactions (MA, RD, etc.) are "Flat" files.

(6) Select the final processing step from the drop down menu. This allows you to give AQS instructions about how far you want the system to process the file before stopping and waiting for you to log on and review/complete processing.

  1. Stage moves the data from the submitted format into the AQS database format. It performs format and valid-value checks. If you have an error during the stage process, you must fix the problem in your data file and resubmit it. Some data can complete the stage process while other data has errors.

  2. Load moves the submitted data into the AQS database and performs completeness and relational (e.g., is pre-requisite data present) checks. If you have errors during the load process, you can fix it in AQS via the Correct forms or in your own database and start the process over. Note that any erroneous data is kept in AQS and must be deleted from the staging tables. Some data can complete the load process while other data has errors. You will also get warnings (not errors) if the data is flagged by a statistical check. See the reports for details.

  3. Post moves data from where it can only be seen by members of your screening group to where it can be seen by any AQS user updates all of the relevant summary values. Only raw data must be posted. You cannot have an error during the Post process.

To process the file as far as possible, select Post.

(7) Select a value for the "Stop on Error" processing command. If you select "Yes", AQS will examine the results of the stage and load programs (both for errors and warnings) and stop any additional processing of the file if there are any errors or warnings in the data. If you select "No", AQS will process all the data it can through the final processing step you selected.

To process the file as far as possible, select No.

You can optionally provide additional data by expanding the "Provide information (metadata) about this Document" but it is not necessary.

When you have entered values for all of these fields, hit the Send button.

You will get a new screen with a status and a transaction ID. You will also get all ENSC (and AQS) processing results emailed to you, or you can select a link on this screen to perform other actions, for example: "View the Status of this request in My Activity", or "Complete another Transaction using this same Service" to send more data to AQS.

4.4.3. ENSC Subsequent Uses

After logging on to the ENSC, you will see the home screen:

ENSC home screen

From the Services Center Home screen, go to My Services Center by selecting either (1) the tab or (2) the button. This will take you to the My Services screen:

ENSC my services screen

At this page you will see all the services you have recently used.

(1) To send data to AQS, select the one with Service Name ending = AQS Submit and Service Description = AQS Submit: Send files to the Air Quality System (AQS).

(2) To see the status of previous submissions, select the My EPA Activity Link.

(3) You can also make this page your Start page, reducing the steps to open this page after logging on to the ENSC.

4.5. Loading Your File Using AQS

We’re now going to go over the file processing functions available to you within AQS. This section will begin with the assumption that you have a file that has been through the stage process, but has gone no further in AQS. (This would be the case if you Final Processing Step from the ENSC was Stage. There is no other way to get your file to AQS other than to use the ENSC!). The other processes will be covered in turn.

Note for long time users: all AQS processing is done by file, which is different than the old model of operating on all data in a screening group at once.

4.6. Batch Form Overview

To get to the batch file processing form, log on to AQS and select Batch from the menu. It should look like this:

AQS Batch form

The AQS Batch form has 5 main areas.

(1) File processing History and Status area.

(2) Load processing results summary.

(3) Post processing results summary.

(4) Process control - where you can review results and perform additional processes on files.

(5) Process flow - A reminder of how AQS processes a file.

Each is described in detail below.

(1) The History and Status area shows a list of the files you have submitted and the most recent action performed on them.

There is one row per file. The following columns are in this area:

  • Submission Date: this indicates the original time the file was staged to AQS (format = YYYYMMDD HH:mm where HH is on the 24 hour clock and time is eastern standard).

  • File Name: the name of the file.

  • User name: the name of the last user in the agency who initiated a processing step for this file.

  • Records in file: the total number of transactions in the file (records if it is a flat file, the equivalent for XML).

  • Date (last): the last time an action was performed on this file.

  • Process Status: the most recent process initiated for this file and the status of that process.

    • Process can be:

      • Stage = converting data from submitted format to AQS database format

      • Load = Loading data into AQS database

      • CRST = Critical Review and Statistical Tests

      • Post = Incorporate data in to summaries and make data public.

    • Status can be:

      • Submitted (meaning it is waiting to execute)

      • Active (actively processing)

      • Error (completed with errors)

      • Completed (completed with no errors)

(2) Load processing results summary. This area provides a summary of what happened to each record (transaction) in the file during all of the load processes. The following columns are in this area:

  • Recs Loaded: this is the total number of records from this file that have been successfully loaded into AQS. Keep in mind, Load means different things for different types of data. For everything but raw data, it means it is now fully into AQS and you are done processing. For raw data, you must still post the data.

  • Recs Failing to Load: this is the number of records that could not be loaded into AQS due to some kind of error. The "Recs Loaded" plus the value in this column should equal the number of records in the file. They were all processed and either loaded or did not. To see the reasons that any records did not load, you can view the "Load Summary and Errors" report which was emailed to you, or you can view by pressing the button in the Process Control area.

  • StatCR Finding Count: this is the number of records that raised concern during our Statistical and Critical Review process (StatCR). The StatCR process is run automatically every time the load process is run. It compares new data to old data and expected ranges, etc. and presents any "findings" of possible outliers or other problematic data. These are not errors, they are oddities in your data we flag for your information. To see the findings you can view the "Stat CR" report which was emailed to you, or you can view by pressing the button in the Process Control area.

(3) Post processing results summary. This area provides a summary of the file with respect to the load processes. The following columns are in this area:

  • Records to Post: this is the total number of records from this file that need to be posted (the number of successfully loaded raw data records). If this number is more than zero, you need to execute the Post process to complete the submission of this data to AQS.

  • Skip’d Monitors: the number of monitors for which the posting of data was skipped during processing. This is an advanced topic covered elsewhere, if this number is greater than zero and you don’t know why, please contact the help desk.

  • Records Posted: the number of records for which post processing completed successfully. When this number matches the "Records to Post" column for the file, processing is complete. You can view the results of the latest post processing action in the "Raw Data Inventory" report which was emailed to you, or you can view by pressing the button in the Process Control area.

(4) The Process control area lest you review results of earlier processing and perform additional processing. The process control area only acts on the file (row) that is highlighted on the top part of the form. Depending on the status of the file, certain areas will be unavailable (grayed out). The processing of files is controlled on the horizontal row labeled "Process selected file through":

Process control buttons

You can select either load or post. Selecting post will perform load processing on the file if necessary.

The available reports generated by each process are shown below the process. For example, the load process generates two reports, the Load Summary and Errors report and the Stat CR Report.

Load Process control buttons

The post process generates only one report, the Raw Data Inventory report.

The last group of buttons in the Process Control area are labeled Other:

Other Process control buttons

They perform the following actions.

  • Show User Log: this will open the same file that was emailed to you (summarizing the most recent processing on the file) in a browser window.

  • Goto ENSC: this will open an ENSC (file submission) window in your browser.

  • Refresh Sessions: this will update all of the information on the top part of the screen. If you are waiting for a job to finish, you can press this button rather than reloading the entire form to get updated information.

(5) The Process Flow area is a reminder of how AQS processes a file presented in flow chart form. This is described in more detail earlier in this document (Batch Data Submission Flowchart).

Finally, you may have noticed a tab called "History" on the batch form. It is a more detailed list of each process run by AQS (not summarized by file) that is sometimes used by the help desk for trouble-shooting. You should never need to use this tab on your own.

4.7. Processing a File

The process flow chart will be a handy reference, so we’ll include it here again.

Batch process flow

The flow chart is laid out to show progression in a straight line from left to right beginning with the "File" step. This assumes you have a file of transactions (XML or flat) that are ready to be submitted to AQS.

If all goes perfectly, you will progress from left to right on this flowchart on the same line as "File". If you encounter errors, additional steps necessary to correct them are shown above the main line. Outputs generated by AQS are shown below the main line. (Not shown are ENSC generated outputs.)

Once you have a file, you need to begin the submission process by going to the ENSC and processing the file there (see the section in this document: Using the ENSC). There is no other way to get your file to AQS other than to use the ENSC.

Tip
The easiest way to process your file is to always select POST as the final process (either in the ENSC or AQS). AQS will attempt to process you file through all necessary steps. If you select Stop on Error = No at the ENSC it will process all records that it can as far as it can, "leaving behind" those in error. If you select Stop on Error = Yes it will stop all processing at the first error.

For the remainder of these instructions, we’ll consider one step at a time.

4.8. Stage

After going to the ENSC, the first step is to Stage the data file. This means to transfer the file from your system to AQS via the Exchange Network and then to convert the data to the AQS database format.

If the file fails to stage (there was a "Transfer Error", it never made it to AQS and you must work with the file (and perhaps the ENSC and AQS help desks) until it can be staged. Reasons for failure of staging are that the file is not a valid AQS submission format, there are problems with your credentials (e.g., you do not belong to the screening group you attempted to stage the file for), or there is a network problem.

You must diagnose and fix the problem (perhaps with the help of your data logger vendor, your IT/database support, or the ENSC and AQS help desks) and attempt to stage the file again.

Once the file is staged, the row on the batch form will look something like this (with a Process Status = STAGE-COMPLETED and no processing results):

Staged record

Referring back to the flowchart, since there was no transfer error and the file successfully staged, the next step is to Load it.

4.9. Load

After the file has been staged, it can be loaded. Loading the file moves the submitted data into the main AQS database and performs completeness and relational (e.g., is pre-requisite data present) checks. The Statistical Tests and Critical Review (sometimes abbreviated StatCR or CRST) process is also performed at the end of the load step. This process compares data to other values and expected ranges, etc. and presents any "findings" of possible outliers or other problems. These "findings" are not errors, they are really indications of a data point that is an outlier. The data may be fine, but we want to alert you to potential problems.

Note
The results of the StatCR process can change over time - the data is sometimes considered a calendar quarter at a time and findings for data representing an incomplete calendar quarter may be different from a complete calendar quarter (this includes data in the submitted file plus any data already in AQS).

The Load process generates the "Load Summary and Errors" report. The StatCR process (automatically run after the Load process) generates the "Statistical and Critical Review" report.

Also, the fields in the Load Status area at the top of the form will be updated and the system will send you an email with a summary of processing and links to all reports that were generated.

4.9.1. Load Summary and Errors Report

This report contains two parts. Load Summary and Load Detail.

The first is a table summarizing, by transaction type, the number of records in error and the number of records loaded (in the column labeled "Pre-Production") and the number of records posted. Recall, raw data records will be loaded (to pre-production) and any records that are not raw data will be posted if they are not in error.

The second part of this report details any errors in the data on a record by record basis. The data, in transaction format, will be presented along with the error related to that record. If there are more than a few thousand errors in the file, we stop listing them so the report will not include all of them.

4.9.2. Statistical and Critical Review report

The second report generated by the load process contains information about irregularities in the processed data. These are not errors, but warnings (or "findings").This report will list the monitor, the date/time, and the problem with any data values.

4.9.3. Load Errors?

Returning to the flow chart, you must now determine if you have load errors.

You can do this by looking at the "Records Failing to Load" column at the top of the screen (these should now be populated) or the Load Summary and Errors report.

If you have errors during the load process, there are two ways you can fix your data. The first is shown on the flow chart: fix it in AQS via the Correct forms. How to use Correct to edit your data is covered elsewhere.

Not shown on the chart is the option to delete the data out of AQS, fix the data in your original file (or database) and start the process over.

The second option is much more complicated because some of your data may have loaded, some may have posted, and some may not have loaded. However, sometimes it is the most convenient way for you to proceed. There are two ways to delete data that failed to load. They are both done as part of the "correct" process and are covered in that section of the documentation.

If you do not have errors in your data (congratulations!), proceed in the flowchart to the next question.

4.9.4. Raw Data?

Does your file contain raw data (RD transactions). If not, you are done; the data has been placed in the public part of the AQS database. If you do have raw data, you must complete the Post process.

4.10. Post

The post process is necessary for raw data. It moves data from where it can only be seen by members of your screening group to where it can be seen by any AQS user (and any EPA web application, and thus the public). It also updates all of the summary values (e.g., NAAQS durations, Daily, Annual, and Design Value if applicable) that the raw data contributes to.

It is built into the process as a stopping point to allow for you to review the any load errors or statistical findings before making the data public.

Note, when you Post a file, it is run through both the Load (including the StatCR) and Post processes in AQS. This is to ensure that all the data in a file is processed together and no "stragglers" are left behind in our multi-step process. The unfortunate side effect of this is that your older Load Summary and Error and Stat CR reports will be overwritten with new (and perhaps empty) results. If you need a prior version of these reports, you can get it using the history tab. (All reports are deleted from AQS after two weeks.)

4.10.1. Raw Data Inventory report

The Post process generates the Raw Data Inventory report. This report is a count, by monitor, by calendar quarter of the types of data actions (insert, update, and delete) that were taken by AQS. The totals are also now populated on the top part of the Batch form.

After running the Post process you are done submitting raw data!

4.11. When Things Go Wrong

Unfortunately, you will not always be able to submit your file in one step from the ENSC. You may have an error in your file that causes batch processing to stop (whether the entire file stops processing or just the records in error depends on the "Stop on Error" setting at the ENSC).

For Reference, in calendar quarter #2 of 2013:
  • Approximately 7,800 files, containing 50 million transactions total, were submitted to AQS.

  • About 25% of files with Raw Data transactions had a raw data error.

  • About 50% of files without Raw Data had an error (e.g., site, monitor, or QA data error).

  • A file with an error was re-processed (corrected and re-loaded) an average of 1.5 times.

What do you do when you have an error in a file? Referring back to the flow chart (repeated below) you go through a process called "Correct".

Batch process flow

This can mean one of two things.
  1. You can use the AQS "Correct" facilities to do this. This is explained in the "Correct" section of this document (next).

  2. You can fix the data on your end (in your file or in your database/DAHS and regenerate the file) and start the process over again. Note: You should delete any erroneous data left over from processing in AQS that you do not intend to someday Load or Post. You can do this in one of two ways

    1. If you are the data administrator for you screening group / agency, you can use the delete by screening group function from the Correct menu.

    2. You can use the instructions in the "Correct" section of this document to delete data by individual record or transaction type.

5. Correct - Editing Not Yet Loaded Data

5.1. Correct Overview

This chapter explains how to use the Correct forms within AQS to modify data that has been staged but not yet loaded. Correct is where you can attempt to correct the errors in your data.

Important
Correct forms only work on data that have been staged, but have not yet been loaded.

To put it another way, the Correct forms are only used on data that is in error (or could not be loaded because related data was in error). If AQS is processing a batch file and encounters an error that prevents data from being loaded, it keeps this data in an area of the system call the "Staging Tables". The Correct forms operate on the data in the staging tables. Once data is loaded (moved into AQS from the staging tables) it is no longer available to the Correct forms.

Note that not only erroneous data is kept in the staging tables. For example, consider a file that inserts a monitor and also has raw data for that monitor. If there is an error on a monitor transaction, the monitor will not load. Even if there are no (other) problems with the raw data, it cannot load since the monitor did not load.

Since each transaction is formatted differently (has a different number of fields with different content), there is a Correct form for each transaction type. (Exception, we have been able to group many of the new QA-related transactions into the same correct form). This means there are 20 correct forms. They all operate in the same way, so general instructions will be given for the Correct - Raw data and Correct - Site Data - Site forms. Then, only forms that have special operations associated with them will be mentioned.

To open a correct form, navigate to the Correct Menu and select the particular form from the menu (or sub-menu).

Correct Menu

The current list of correct forms is:

Site Related Forms - Under "Correct - Site Data" Menu item
  • Site (basic)

  • Open Path

  • Tangent Road

Monitor Related Forms - Under "Correct - Monitor Data" Menu item
  • Monitor

  • Samp(le) Period

  • Types

  • Objective

  • Samp(le) Schedule

  • Probe Obs(truction)

  • Reg(ulatory) Compliance

  • Collocation

  • Protocol

  • Agency (role)

  • Tangent Road

Data Related Forms - Under the main "Correct" Menu
  • Raw

  • Precision

  • Accuracy

  • Blanks

  • Composite

  • Annual Summary

5.2. Correct Raw Data

This section covers how to correct Raw Data in particular. However, it covers the details of the correct process and the operation of all of the correct forms. It is suggested that you use it for a reference for all Correct forms.

Let’s suppose you had some raw data that did not load because it had errors. You will have seen the errors in the Load Summary Report. You have two options, you can delete them from AQS and resubmit them from your database or you can use AQS to correct (edit) them.

If you decide you want to use AQS to fix them, you will do this with the Correct → Raw Data form.

The procedure for this is:

Correct procedure
  1. Open the correct form

  2. Query the data you want to edit from the AQS database into the form

  3. Edit the data

  4. Save the data back to the AQS staging area.

This implies an important principle: the data on your screen is separate from what is in the AQS database. You can load data from the database into your form and you can save data from the form back to the database. But while you are working on it in your form, the only place it exists in on the screen!

5.2.1. Open Correct Form

To open the Correct → Raw Data form, select it from the menu:

Raw Data Correct Menu Item

You should then see this:

Raw Data Correct Form

5.2.2. Query Data

The form is empty - there is no data in it. The first thing you’ll have to do is query some data from the database (the staging tables in this case) into the form.

The principle buttons you’ll use for query operations are these:

(1) Enter Query (2) Execute Query (3) Cancel Query

Here is what they do.

Enter Query

This button tells the form that what you type after pushing it is not data that should be saved in AQS but, rather, a set of restrictions on a query to bring data from AQS to the form (screen).

This button should only be pushed when the form is empty (there is no way to add data from the database to data that you have already entered by hand). The usage is to bring data from the database into the form, edit it, and save it back into the AQS database.

Important
The form is in Enter Query mode by default when you open it.

When the form opens, it assumes you want to bring data from the AQS database into the form. If you do not want to do this (for example, if you want to start entering data to be saved), you need to press the cancel query button.

If you ever get into a situation where are not sure about what query mode you are in or you get messages related like "not allowed to do that in ______ query mode", you can reload the form by selecting it from the menu.

When you are in enter query mode, enter values in any fields you want to narrow your search by. For example, if you want only data for you state, enter a state code. If you want data for just one parameter in your state, enter your state code and a parameter code.

A correct form will never bring back data not in your screening group. So, to bring back all data in your screening group, do not enter anything. (That is, do not limit your data by any values).

Once you have entered your query criteria, execute the query to bring the data from AQS into the form.

Execute Query

This button retrieves all data in your screening group (of the same record type as the form) that matches your query criteria into the Correct form. If you enter nothing, all data from your screening group will be returned.

Important
All records in the staging tables that match your query criteria will be returned, not just records in files you submitted or the last file you submitted.
Tip
You can use the Last Record in combination with the Status Bar to verify that the number of records you expected is what was returned.
  1. After executing a query, press the Last Record icon (this forces all of the data to be moved from the database to the form, otherwise it is retrieved one screen/page at a time). Note, if there are many records, this make take a while. Last record on icon bar

  2. Look at the bottom of AQS window at the status bar. It shows that the highlighted row is row X of a total of Y rows in the query in the form "Record: X/Y". Record count on status bar Is this the number of records you expected? Too many? Too few?

Cancel Query

This button cancels any active query.

If you want to enter data, you must press this button when you open the form (since the form opens in Execute Query mode, you must cancel this mode before entering data you want to keep).

This button may also need to be used any time you want to execute a second query if the first returned no data. After you have Executed a query and gotten no records back, press the Cancel Query button then press the Enter Query to enter new selection criteria.

5.2.3. Edit Data

Once the data is in the form, you can make changes to it. There are two ways to do this.

Edit options
  1. Type over

  2. Global replace

The first option is to edit the data field by field (box by box) on the screen. Select text or place the cursor where you want it and insert, delete, or replace text as you would in any editor.

The second option is to perform a "search and replace" in a single column. You do this by placing the cursor in the value you would like to replace. Then press the Search and Replace icon. This will bring up a window that will allow you to replace the current occurrence or every occurrence in that column for all data retrieved by your query.

5.2.4. Save the Data

Ater you have edited the data it is still only on the screen until you save it. Even if all you do is delete rows, you must save this change.

5.2.5. Other Correct Features

There are some other, less used (but very handy) features of the correct screen. They are covered briefly here.

The other buttons on the right hand side of the icon bar.
  • Insert Record (insert a new blank record after the highlighted one),

  • Delete Record (delete the highlighted record),

  • Duplicate Record (duplicate a record you have hand-typed in), and

  • Clear Record (delete all of the contents of the fields, but not the record).

The Delete All Selected button near the bottom of the screen.
  • This button deletes all records that were returned by your query (that is all that are listed in the display; "selected" is a bit of a misnomer here).

5.2.6. Correct Summary

This section lists a few key reminders to keep in mind when using Correct forms.

  • Correct works on data that has not yet been loaded into AQS (the staging tables).

  • You can only see data in your screening group in Correct.

  • You must save any changes you make (including deletes).

5.2.7. Correct Raw Data Example

Let’s suppose you were trying to load data and received the following errors in you Load Summary Report:

Load summary error example

(1) The first error is because the raw data value is outside the acceptable values (it turns out you had the wrong unit code in the file).

(2) The second error (and the rest for the file) is due to an incorrect site ID on the raw data transaction.

Reminder, the procedure for Correcting data is:

Correct procedure
  1. Open the Correct form

  2. Query the data you want to edit from the AQS database into the form

  3. Edit the data

  4. Save the data back to the AQS database.

Walking through these steps

Open the Correct form

Open the form by selecting Correct → Raw from the menu.

Query the data you want

Do this by entering the state, county, and parameter. (I’m not entering the site ID because one of the errors is an incorrect site ID.).

Looking at the Load Summary and Error Report, above, to find the values, I fill in the corresponding fields on the form. Recall, I do not have to press the Enter Query button since the form defaults to this mode when opened. Here is a snapshot of the form with my query criteria:

Correct form query criteria

Press the Execute Query button to bring back all matching data:

Correct form query results

Note that the errors from the Load Summary and Errors Report are repeated on the bottom portion of the screen for the data row that is highlighted. If the error applies to more than one column the word RELATIONAL appears in the column name.

The session date is very handy on this form. The "session date" is the date that AQS last processed a file. If you don’t remember, you can refer back to the Batch form. While you cannot query or edit the session date, it is useful for reference.

Edit the data

First, I will edit the incorrect value. I will do this by placing the cursor in the reported sample value (Rpt Sampl Value) column, moving the decimal point and deleting the extraneous zeroes.

Correct field edit

Since I have made progress, I will now save my work by pressing the Save button (on the left of the icon bar). This will not remove any data from the screen, it will save any changes I have made to the data back to the database (so they are not just in the form). Like any computer application, save often.

Now, I will fix the incorrect site ID using a global replace.

First, I click on the field of interest (it does not matter which row).

Second, I click on the Search and Replace icon (near the right of the icon bar):

Search and replace on icon bar

This will bring up the Search and Replace window:

Search and replace window

with the field and search value already populated. I type in the intended value in the New Value entry and press the Replace All button. This replaces every occurrence of that value in the column.

Save the data back to the AQS database

Now that I’m done, I press the save button (again).

6. Correct - Submitting Corrected Data

6.1. Submitting Corrected Data

Now that you have "corrected" your data (made the changes and saved them using the correct forms), you need to load this data into AQS. Here’s a reminder of the flow chart:

Batch process flow

We have just completed the Correct process, so must return to Load.

This is relatively simple (compared to what you’ve already done)!

  1. Go back to the Batch form.

  2. Highlight the records associated with the file whose data you were correcting.

  3. Press the Load File or Post File buttons, depending on what processes you want to run.

That’s it! You’re done. You’ve submitted the corrected data. The process status and Load and Post record counts will update just as for any other batch process.

7. On-Line Data Tools - Maintain

7.1. Maintain Overview

We’ll now discuss the third major feature of AQS. The first is the ability to batch load data, the second is the ability to correct data before loading, and this one is the ability to maintain data within the database.

Maintain allows you to:

  1. Enter new data into the database (without having to go through the batch load process)

  2. Edit data in the database ("maintain" it)

Correct and Maintain are very similar in operation - they are a series of forms that allow you to edit data. Much of the detail from the Correct section of this document will not be repeated here. If you are not familiar with Correct in AQS, you should read that section of the manual before reading this one.

There are also a few important differences between Correct and Maintain:

Correct Maintain

Operates on data not yet loaded into AQS

Operates directly on the AQS database

Forms mirror the structure of the text transactions

Forms mirror the structure of the AQS database

Generally one row for each transaction

Forms are laid out to be easier to read and contain more data

Data not checked for errors until you Load it

Data checked for errors when you save it

Can only see data in your screening group

If logged in under a screening group, can see any data in screening group (and only data in your screening group); if logged in as read-only, can see any production status data

7.1.1. Why Use Maintain?

Maintain is useful for the following tasks:

  1. Creating site and monitor records.

    • Lists-of-values make it unnecessary to know codes

    • Site form has Check Completeness and Create Monitor buttons

    • Monitor form has Check Completeness and Duplicate monitor buttons

    • Each "subordinate" record is displayed as a separate tab

  2. Entering small amounts of data into AQS.

    • Data you would rather type than create a transaction and use the load process for

    • Data that you don’t have transactions for

  3. Entering data for which there are not transactions defined

    • Events

7.1.2. How to use Maintain

To open a maintain form, navigate to the Maintain Menu and select the particular form from the menu (or sub-menu).

Maintain Menu

The current list of maintain forms is:

Maintain Forms
  • Site (subordinates on separate tabs on same form)

  • Monitor (ditto)

  • Audit

  • Event

  • Sample Values

    • Raw Data

    • Composite Data

    • Delete Preproduction Data

  • Precision

  • Accuracy

  • Blanks

  • Summary

  • Concurrence Ind(icator)

Several of these forms relate to advanced topics and will not be covered here. The ones that you may use are discussed briefly below. Later, we’ll go over creating a site, a monitor, and an event in detail.

Maintain Site

The Maintain Site form is used to enter or edit all data relating to a site. This includes data from the site basic transaction (AA) and all of the site subordinate transactions (all other transactions beginning with A).

On this form, data from each transaction type is included under a separate tab.

This form has a Lookup Geography button. This allows you to enter the geographic coordinates in either latitude and longitude or UTM. When you press the button, the EPA standard coordinates (lat/lon in the NAD83 datum) are calculated and populated. Also, much of the other geographic data is populated (city, zip, etc.)

This form has a Check Completeness button. At any time you can press this button to determine if AQS thinks that data needed to make a site "complete" present (from the site basic and all subordinate tabs). This is a convenience to help you keep track of what to do next, but does not have to be used.

This form also has a Create Monitor button. Once you have completely entered (and saved) site data, you may create a monitor with as much data as possible pre-populated in the Maintain Monitor form by pressing this button.

Maintain Monitor

The Maintain Monitor form is used to enter or edit all data relating to a monitor. This includes data from the monitor basic transaction (MA) and all of the site subordinate transactions (all other transactions beginning with M).

On this form, data from each transaction type is included under a separate tab.

This form has a Check Completeness button. At any time you can press this button to determine if all required data is present (from the monitor basic and all subordinate tabs). This can be more convenient than attempting to save the record and getting a series of errors.

This form also has a Duplicate Monitor button. Once you have completely entered (and saved) data for a monitor, you may create a duplicate of that monitor with as much data as possible pre-populated in the Maintain Monitor form by pressing this button. This is handy for creating a collocated monitor, or series of speciation monitors, etc.

Maintain Event

Exceptional events do not have a transaction type (yet) in AQS. Therefore you must use the Maintain Event form to enter and update event information that you will use to apply for exclusions.

Maintain Raw Data

Selecting Sample Values → Raw Data from the menu will take you here. This is very similar to the Correct Raw Data screen except that instead of an area for displaying errors there is an additional area for qualifier, protocol, and event information.

Maintain Precision and Maintain Accuracy

These are mentioned because

  1. You will likely use these to enter or edit your QA data

  2. EPA is currently overhauling how AQS accepts QA data and these forms will change dramatically near the beginning of 2014

Maintain procedure

The procedure for Maintain is the same as for Correct.

  1. Open the maintain form

  2. Query the data you want to edit from the AQS database into the form

  3. Edit the data

  4. Save the data back to the AQS database

If you want to enter new data (rather then query old data) just skip the query step.

Tip
Be sure to press the Cancel Query button before entering data.

7.2. Maintain Site

In this section we will describe how to use the maintain forms to create a new site in AQS. We will create a new site and a monitor at that site.

7.2.1. Enter Site Basic Info

We’re going to create site 0015 in Franklin County, Idaho at coordinates 42.0123 N and -111.8080 E.

Here are the steps

  1. Open the Maintain → Site form.

    Maintain Site Form

  2. Press the Cancel Query icon.

  3. Enter (or select from the LOVs) the State and County codes.

  4. Type in the Site ID.

  5. Enter the Horizontal Datum, Latitude, and Longitude.

  6. Press the Lookup Geography button.

    Your form should now look something like this.

    Maintain Site Form after Geographic Lookup

    • Since we’ve entered some data, let’s save our work. Press the save icon.

      Maintain save error

    • Whoops! AQS will not save data from a single tab unless all required fields are present. Remember, the bold field name indicates required data.

  7. Enter all required fields on the Basic Site Data tab.

  8. Press the save icon.

  9. Verify on the status bar (at the bottom of the screen) that the record was saved.

    Maintain Site save successful

    • Now, let’s try the Check Completeness button.

      Maintain Site completeness check

      Even though we have the Basic Site Information populated, other information is needed before the site is "complete".

7.2.2. Enter an Agency Role

Now we will enter a Supporting Agency role.

  • Exit the completeness check screen, if still open.

    1. Go to the Agency Roles tab.

    2. Add a Supporting role (using the LOVs if you like) and begin date.

    3. Press the save icon.

    4. Verify on the status bar that the save was successful.

Tip
You could have entered the Agency Role before saving the Basic Site Data. Any time you hit save on a form, data from all tabs is saved at the same time.

7.2.3. Status Indicators

Looking back a the Basic Site Data tab, you may notice there is a Status Ind(icator) field. It now has a value of "F".

Maintain Site with status = F

Status Indicators are very important in AQS. Every time you try to put data into AQS the system performs a variety of checks on that data:

  1. Is each value a valid value (within acceptable ranges)?

  2. Is the format correct (e.g., number versus text)?

  3. Are mandatory fields present?

  4. Is prerequisite data present (e.g., a monitor must exist before raw data can be loaded)?

  5. Is co-requisite data present (e.g., a site must have a Supporting Agency Role, a raw data value must have a Sample Begin Time)?

  6. Did raw data undergo the Statistical and Critical Review checks?

Depending on the answers to these questions, (almost) all incoming data is assigned a Status Indicator. This value may change as the data progresses through software checks.

These are the Status Indicators and their meanings

Status Indicator Status Meaning

F

Fields Valid

The individual data elements (fields) are valid (ranges, formats, etc.).

R

Relationally Valid

Prerequisite and co-requisite data is present and complete.

S

Stats Checked

This data has been through the Statistical and Critical Review process.

I

Inactive

This data is no longer relevant. We inactivate some data rather than delete it to keep audit trails.

P

Production

This data is has successfully been submitted to AQS. The reporting requirement has been met. This data is available to anyone.

The goal in AQS is to get your data to status P.

To see why the site data we just entered is stuck at F, let’s try the Check Completeness button again.

Maintain Site completeness check for status F

We still must create a monitor for AQS to consider the site complete.

Exit the check completeness screen.

7.2.4. Create a Monitor

Let’s add a CO monitor at this site. The way to do this is press the Create Monitor button at the bottom of the Maintain Site form, Basic Site Data tab.

When you press this button, you should see a pre-populated Maintain Monitor form, Monitor Basic tab.

Maintain monitor form

Complete the mandatory data entry this tab by adding Parameter Code and POC. When these are entered, the remainder of the tabs become available for editing (go from grayed out to selectable).

Note, on this form, the Save icon is grayed out (not selectable) until you enter all mandatory fields.

Note, however, that the Check Completeness button stays grayed out even though the required Monitor Basic information is populated. To activate the Check Completeness button navigate away from the Monitor Basic tab and back to it. You can either navigate to another tab and back, or save the record, reload the form by selecting Maintain → Monitor from the menu, and query in the data you just saved.

To complete data entry for the monitor you can either click on each of the tabs and fill in the required fields (indicated with bold field names) or Check Completeness for a to-do list.

When done save the data by pressing the Save icon. If you missed any required data elements, you will get a message.

The Status Indicator will still be displayed as F. If the data is complete, re-query it back into the form to see a status of P. Likewise, now that a monitor has been added, you can verify that the Maintain Site form now shows a status of P. The site and monitor have been successfully added to AQS!

8. Adding Events via Maintain

8.1. Maintain Event

This section will describe how to use the maintain forms to create a new exceptional event and associate it with raw data. This section of the document is separate from the Maintain section because it is a special case - there are currently no AQS transactions for events, so the only way to enter this data is via the maintain forms.

8.1.1. Exceptional Event Rule

Background

The Exceptional Event Rule (EER) was published March 22, 2007 and became effective May 21, 2007. The EER allows the ambient air quality data which is submitted to AQS and used in making regulatory decisions, to be, in some cases, flagged and, where appropriate, excluded from calculations in determining whether or not an area has attained the standard. The data flagged as “exceptional” must have been affected by an exceptional event, which is defined as an event that affects air quality, is not reasonably controllable or preventable, is an event caused by human activity that is unlikely to recur at a particular location or a natural event, and is determined by the EPA in accordance with 40CFR 50.14 to be an exceptional event. At present, the EER applies only to ozone and PM.

8.1.2. Event Process Workflow

This section outlines exceptional event related steps occur and in what order. Not all of these steps involve AQS. Steps that are performed within AQS are in italics. How to use AQS to perform these functions is covered next.

  1. Event happens. The real-world exceptional event occurs.

  2. Event affects data. Ambient air quality is affected by the exceptional event and measured by monitor reporting to AQS.

  3. Should data be excluded. Reporting agency investigates and determines that there is cause to suspect exceptional event influence on the sample measurement(s)

  4. Data is flagged. Reporting agency flags the data in AQS that is suspected of being influenced by the exceptional event (note: the flagging of data can occur either before or after the data is submitted to AQS; reporting agency has until July 1st of the year following the year in which the flagged measurement occurred to add an exceptional event qualifier flag)

  5. Event is defined. Reporting agency enters the initial Event description; AQS responds by creating the event record (note: reporting agency has until July 1st of the year following the year in which the flagged measurement occurred to add an initial description of the exceptional event)

  6. Associate data with event. Reporting agency accesses AQS to associate the appropriate flagged values with the Event (AQS saves date of association;

  7. Justify exclusion request. Reporting agency can take up to 3 years from the time of the event to conduct analysis, hold public review, prepare justification documentation and submit documentation to the EPA. For appropriate flagged measurements, the reporting agency develops documentation that the exceedance was caused by the exceptional event.

    1. A clear causal relationship exists between the event and the measurement;

    2. The measurement is in excess of normal historical fluctuations, including background;

    3. There would not have been an exceedance or violation if the event had not occurred;

    4. The required public comment process has been followed;

    5. The documentation package includes references to specific exceedances of a specific NAAQS.

  8. Submit package. Reporting agency submits (via hardcopy or electronic means) the required justification documentation for affected measurements to their EPA Regional Office

  9. Regional Review. EPA Regional Administrator reviews documentation with respect to:

    1. Validity of event occurrence;

    2. Causal relationship to the monitoring data (exceedances) under consideration

  10. Concurrence Indicator Updated. Regional administrator accesses AQS to Concur or Deny with the exclusion request, with respect to the specific NAAQS

  11. Exclude Data. AQS re-computes affected summaries.

8.2. Flag Values with Event Qualifiers

You can flag sample values (raw data) using either the Batch process or Maintain forms. This section describes how to do each.

8.2.1. Flagging Values via Batch Data

  1. Create transactions that have Request Exclusion Qualifiers (see the Data Coding Manual for details) appropriate to the event type.

    1. The transactions can be Insert transactions for new data or Update or Replace transactions for data already in AQS.

  2. Load this data using the Batch process.

8.2.2. Flagging Values via Maintain

Work Flow
  1. The reporting agency user determines that a specific sample measurement (or small set of measurements) is affected by an exceptional event.

  2. The user decides whether to flag the sample measurement with the Informational Qualifier (“INFORM”) or the Exclusion Qualifier (“REQEXC”) for the event type.

  3. The user queries the measurement. In AQS, go to Maintenance → Sample Values → Raw Data

    Select maintain sample raw

  4. Use the Query tool to select the sample measurement to which you want you want to add (or modify) the qualifier code. (Enter the State, County, Site, Parameter and/or Begin and End Dates. Then press the Execute Query button or Ctrl+F11.)

    Maintain raw

  5. The query results. The raw data sample on this date had a high reported sample value that was due to a chemical spill.

    Maintain raw save

  6. The exceptional event qualifier code for “chemical spill” will be added to the raw data record.

    First, the user will duplicate the measurement row as a pre-production update transaction. 1 - Place the cursor on the record field. 2 – At the icon menu at the top, select “Duplicate Record.” A new record will be added just underneath. 3 - In the “Action Ind” column, add “U” for update.

    Then, the user will add the qualifier code to the pre-production update transaction. 4 - In the next block, add the Qualifier Code of “RC” from the drop-down menu. 5 - “Save” the changes.

    Maintain raw save event

    The sample value now has an exceptional event qualifier. Before this sample is visible to the Regional Office for concurrence purposes, the sample values must be associated with an existing Exceptional Event. If you have a previously defined event you may associate the raw data with it now. If you have not yet defined the event, you can create one now (or see the Defining an Event section).

  7. Associating data with an event (optional at this point). The Event Association block is on the bottom right of the Maintain Raw Data form:

    Maintain raw event block

    1. Click the Event Description LOV.

    2. To associate the data with an existing event, select it from the list to populate that section of the form.

      1. If you select CREATE EVENT from the list you will be taken to the Maintain → Event form.

    3. Save the Raw Data record.

  8. When all the sample values have been thus flagged, then Stat/CR and Post must be run from the Batch menu. This is the only way to get the changed records promoted to “Production” status.

    From the menu bar select Batch, select the appropriate session record, press the Post button.

    The POST process initiates the re-computation of all of the summaries (at monitor-level: NAAQS Averages, Daily Summaries, Quarterly Summaries, Annual Summaries; and at site-level: Daily Summaries, Quarterly Summaries, Annual Summaries, and 3-Year design values for O3 and PM2.5.)

  9. You will see a warning message. Choose Yes.

    Warning

  10. You will see an information message. Click OK.

    Information Box

  11. Your Process Status should update to POST-COMPLETED.

  12. Back at Maintenance –> Raw Data, the change will now show up with Status Indicator “P” for Production.

    Maintain raw status P

8.3. Defining an Exceptional Event

As a State, local or Tribal AQS user, if you have an exceptional event that affects ambient air quality data and you intend to flag that data as affected and request EPA Regional Office concurrence that the data be excluded, then the exceptional event must be described and documented. The description and documentation of an exceptional event must be done in AQS via online forms; the event cannot be defined via the AQS batch transaction forms.

You do not have to define an exceptional event as a prerequisite to flagging measurement data with the qualifier code. However, if you request a concurrence from EPA for that flagged data to be excluded, then the exceptional event would need to be defined before the concurrence flags can be set.

When you log in to AQS, you must be in the screening group that “owns” this data (and have the authority to edit raw data and event data).

The event can be defined either via Maintain Exceptional Events (recommended if you anticipate that this event will affect many sample values) or via Maintain Raw for each sample value

8.3.1. Using Maintain Event to Define and Associate Events

  1. In AQS, go to Maintenance → Event

Select maintain event

To define an Exceptional Event, the following information is REQUIRED: Event Description, Type of event (from the “Qualifier Code” drop down – these map to the REQEXC type qualifiers)

The following is OPTIONAL: Event Begin Date, Event End Date, Comment, and URL

  • On the Define Event tab,

    1. use the drop down on “Qualifier Code” to select the type of exceptional event

      1. Possible choices include Forest Fire, African Dust, Asian Dust, Chemical Spills & Industrial Accidents, Cleanup After a Major Disaster, etc.

      2. The “Qualifier Description” field will be populated with the description matching the Qualifier Code selection.

    2. Add an “Event Begin Date” and “Event End Date” in YYYYMMDD format. Usually exceptional events have a distinct begin and end date. - optional

    3. “Event Description” – comment field - optional

    4. “Comment” – comment field - optional

    5. “URL” – add a link to a webpage to add additional explanatory materials - optional

Maintain Event form

If there is an existing Exceptional Event, then the event can be queried by (1) entering the qualifier code and/or the event begin date and/or the event end date and (2) submitting the query using the “Execute Query” icon.

Query maintain event

The events that match the query criteria will display on the Define Event tab:

Populated maintain event

Selecting the corresponding “Associate Raw Data with Event” tab displays:

Populated associate event

To see which monitors are associated with this event, or to associate a monitor with this event, select “Query Affected Monitors.”

At the top of the list is the monitor and date range of interest to us. Notice that “# Unassociated” is 3.

number of associated events

In the “Action” column, you must choose “Associate” to connect this monitor and date range with the exceptional event that you defined.

i_action_LOV.jpg

Make your selection and click “OK.” Save your changes using the Save icon or <F10>.

The sample measurements that match these criteria and that were flagged with the qualifier flag are now available for the Regional Office to set the concurrence indicators via the Maintain Concurrence menu in AQS.

number associated events

Query by Date

You can also query the events by date. After the monitor data has been retrieved by the Query Affected Monitors button, change the Begin Date and/or End Date values. Then press the Query By Date Range button. The flagged data available will be limited to that which falls between these new dates.

8.3.2. Using Maintain Raw Data to Define and Associate Events

This process is only recommended if you will have one (or few) sample measurement(s) which you will be flagging for exclusion.

The process follows that of “Flag sample value with an exceptional event qualifier via on-line forms” detailed above.

Work Flow
  1. The reporting agency user determines that a specific sample measurement (or small set of measurements) is affected by an exceptional event.

  2. The user decides whether to flag the sample measurement with the Informational Qualifier (“INFORM”) or the Exclusion Qualifier (“REQEXC”) for the event type. When flagging the sample measurement(s), the Exceptional Event can also be defined.

  3. The user queries the measurement. In AQS, go to Maintenance → Sample Values → Raw Data

    Select maintain sample raw

  4. Use the Query tool to select the sample measurement to which you will be adding or have added, the qualifier code. (Enter the State, County, Site, Parameter and/or Begin and End Dates. Then press the Execute Query button or Ctrl+F11.)

    Maintain raw

  5. The query results. The raw data sample on this date had a high reported sample value that was due to a chemical spill.

    Maintain raw save

    The Event Description must be added to this record in order for this record to be visible to the Regional Office to provide the concurrence flag. If an Event Description is not supplied, the record will not be available to the Regional Office for concurrence purposes.

  6. In the Event Description block, the following information is REQUIRED:

    Event Description
    1. The following is OPTIONAL:

      Event Comment, and URL
  7. “Save” the Event Description.

Maintain raw save

8.4. Add concurrence flag – Regional Office

As an EPA Regional Office AQS user, you can add a concurrence flag to signify that you concur with the exclusion of sample measurements due to an exceptional event This concurrence can only be done via online forms.

A “Concur” flag means that the Regional Office concurs with the exclusion. A “Deny” means that the Regional Office does not concur with the exclusion.

Certification is preserved when data is Concurred or Non-Concurred. The Certification of a Monitor-Year is only removed when the concentration value of a sample measurement is updated, but not when other fields are updated.

Sample values can be concurred/non-concurred based on different existing standards. Presently, these are as follows:

Pollutant

Standards

O3

8-hour 2008
1-hour Daily 2005
8-hour 1997

SO2

24-hour 1971
3-hour 1971
Annual 1971

NO2

Annual 1971

CO

8-hour 1971
1-hour 1971

Pb

Quarterly 1978

PM10

24-hour 2006

PM2.5

24-hour 2006
Annual 2006

Work Flow
  1. The Regional Office user evaluates the documentation for a sample measurement that was flagged as being affected by an exceptional event.

  2. The Regional Office user will use the Maintain Concurrence form in AQS to query the affected sample measurements and to set the concurrence flag. To access this portion of AQS, you must have the correct authorization. An authorized Regional Office user would have access to all the monitors in that region.

    From the Main Menu, choose “Maintenance” and “Concurrence Ind”:

    Select maintain concurrence

    The “Maintain – EPA Concurrence Indicator” screen:

    Maintain concurrence

  3. Query the affected sample measurements:

    You can “Concur All,” “Deny All,” or apply a Concurrence Indicator only to an individual record using the drop down on the highlighted record. i_concurrence_LOV.jpg

    i_maintain_concurrence_pick_all.jpg

  4. Save the changes using the “Save” icon on the Taskbar or <F10>.

  5. Again, where applicable, the concurrence flag can be set for a particular standard.

In the case of ozone, below, the sample measurement records would appear multiple times with the column of “Applicable NAAQS Standard” changing to reflect the standard that would be applied.

One such sample measurement is circled in red. There are three ozone standards applicable, the 1-hour Daily 2005, the 8-hour 1997, and the 8-hour 2008. This particular sample measurement was concurred with only for the 8-hour 1997 standard.

Maintain concurrence which standard

8.5. Standard Reports – Exceptional event selection criteria for each report – all users

The addition of an exceptional event qualifier flag to sample values initiates (during the POST process) the re-computation of all of the summaries:

  • At monitor-level:

    • NAAQS Averages

    • Daily Summaries

    • Quarterly Summaries

    • Annual Summaries

  • At site-level:

    • Daily Summaries

    • Quarterly Summaries

    • Annual Summaries

Report Output:

Any reports that use this summary data have additional options on the Report Criteria Selection screens. The report selection criteria varies between reports. The complete list of options is below, and this is followed by a list of the specific reports that have each set of options.

This AQS Report Exceptional Event information

AMP450 (Quick Look Criteria Parameters)
AMP450NC (Quick Look All Parameters)
AMP435 (Daily Summary)
AMP230 (Frequency Distribution)
AMP440 (Maximum Values)
AMP470 (Raw Values by Year)
AMP260 (Reduced Frequency Distribution)

Include Events OR
Exclude Events OR
Exclude Regionally Concurred Events OR
Report All Event Records

AMP355

Include Regionally Concurred Events OR
Exclude Regionally Concurred Events

AMP350 (Raw Data Report)
AMP460 (Raw Data WF Parameters by Time)

Include Events OR
Exclude Events

AMP350MX (Raw Data Max Values)
AMP350NW (Raw Data NAAQS Averages)
AMP300 (Violation Day Count)

Include Events OR
Exclude Events OR
Exclude Regionally Concurred

AMP360 (Raw Data Qualifier)

Concurred Data Only (Concurrence = Y) OR
Non-concurred Data Only (Concurrence = N) OR
Un-reviewed Data Only (No Concurrence Value) OR
All Data (Concurred and Non-Concurred)

The only new report is the AMP360 (Raw Data Qualifier).

R31 Options

R31 Options LOV

8.6. Recalculation of summary level records – all users

The addition of an exceptional event qualifier flag to sample values initiates (during the POST process) the re-computation of all of the summaries:

  • At monitor-level:

    • NAAQS Averages

    • Daily Summaries

    • Quarterly Summaries

    • Annual Summaries

  • At site-level:

    • Daily Summaries

    • Quarterly Summaries

    • Annual Summaries

9. Data Reports

9.1. Standard Reports Overview

Now that you’ve gotten all your data into AQS, you might be wondering how you get it out. Maybe not the same data (even though that’s possible), but rather summaries including aggregate data in the form of design values (or simple annual statistics) or an assessment of how your program is doing with respect to certification, etc.

In AQS, the most common way to view data in via Standard Reports. These are pre-defined reports that show most of the data in AQS.

This chapter gives a brief overview of how to use the reports function of AQS. It does not cover the contents, formats, and options available for each report. That is covered elsewhere.

9.2. Standard Reports Form

9.2.1. Criteria Set Tab

The AQS Standard Reports are under the Retrievals function, so to navigate to them, select Retrieval → Standard Reports.

Select retrievals - standard reports

This will take you to the Standard Reports form.

Standard reports form

This form has several tabs and opens in the (1) Criteria Set tab. For now we’ll ignore the top of this form and move on to (2) the Report Code. Select this LOV to get a list of the available reports. Select the report you would like and click OK.

Once you have done this you need to determine the mode the report will run in (3). If you select Run Online, the report will be delivered to your browser when it is complete; you must stay on-line to get it. If you select Send via Email, AQS will email the report to the address in your user profile on the Admin → Security screen. This is called a "batch" report (just like batch load, it can be working while you are not logged in).

After you select a Report Code the Report Outputs, Print Format will be shown (4). If you selected Send via Email, the File Name (5) is populated. They will look like this.

Report output and format

Output Formats

You will generally have two Report Output options available, but sometimes more.

Report

This is a formatted report designed for humans to read. It is usually associated with the format PDF. You may have the option to select different formats for an output of Report.

Workfile

This is a text file of tabular data (with a header) for things like spreadsheets to read. Each AQS report has its own distinct workfile format.

XML

This is a tagged text file of nested data designed for computers to read.

You may select as many of the Report Outputs as you like. If you select multiple, the same data will be sent in different formats.

File Name

If you selected Send via Email to have AQS email you when the report is done, you must give it a short file name.

Remainder of Standard Report Form

Returning to the Criteria Set tab, there is one final selection. You must choose to select data via "Monitor" or "Area" (6). AQS has too many ways to filter data and we could not fit them on a single tab (although we do plan on combining them soon).

Monitor

If you want to select by state, or tribe, or county, or parameter, use this.

Area

If you want to select by CBSA, or region, or agency, use this.

The default is Monitor Selection. Which on you select will determine which selection tab is available (7).

With a little practice in AQS, you will quickly learn which is the best for the query you need to run.

9.2.2. Monitor Selection Tab

We’ll examine the Monitor Selection tab:

Standard reports form

Everything said about it applied to the Area Selection tab as well.

The form is divided up into several blocks, each with their own bold header: Site-Monitor Criteria, Global Report Criteria, Global Date Range, and Global Screening Group. Some blocks may have default values populated depending on the report you have selected. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but you’ll pick it up in no time.

Each of these blocks allows you enter selection criteria for your report. Only data that matches your criteria will be included in the report. Here are a few things to keep in mind when entering selection criteria.

  • Certain minimum criteria are required. These vary by report, so the fields are not bolded (like correct and maintain forms). If you do not have enough criteria, you will get an error message.

  • The more criteria you enter, the less data will be returned and the faster your report will run.

  • Entering a criteria means "give me those values". Leaving a criteria blank means give me all values.

    • For example, entering a state code will return data for all monitors in the state.

    • Entering a state code and a county code and a parameter code will return data for just that parameter in that county.

    • Entering a pollutant type or parameter code will return data just for it. Leaving it blank will return data for all parameters.

  • The "global" criteria are a way to reduce typing.

    • For example, if you want ozone data for three counties for one year, you can enter three rows in the Site-Monitor Criteria, one for each state - county combination and leave the parameter code and dates empty. Then on the Global Report Criteria, you can select ozone and on the Global Date Range select the year of interest.

If you are new to AQS, run a few reports with "detailed" selection criteria until you are comfortable. Limiting reports to one county or site for one year will certainly not cause any system problems.

9.2.3. Sort Order Tab

Each report in AQS includes a default sort order (usually the order of display). If you would like to change this, use the Sort Order tab. You may move the sort columns up or down in the sort order by highlighting them and pressing the up or down arrow buttons. You may not add a column to the sort order.

9.2.4. Report Options Tab

Each report in AQS includes a default set of options. If you want to change any of them, navigate to the Report Options tab. Select different values for the options by using the LOV (drop down) associated with each.

Some reports (with NAAQS related data) will also include some information (that is not adjustable) about which standards will be represented in the data.

9.2.5. Retrieve Reports Tab

This tab keeps a history of recent reports that you have run (going back about two weeks). You can use this tab to check on the status of a long-running batch report. You can also use it to download the output of previous reports that you may have misplaced.

9.3. Running a Report

After you have chosen your report and output options, entered all your selection criteria (and optionally adjusted the sort order and changed options), you are ready to run your report.

Every tab on the Standard Reports form (except Retrieve Reports) has a Generate Report button.

Press this button!

The application may jump back to where you last had your cursor or to the Criteria Set tab - this is normal.

You will get one of two pop-up windows.

Report Submitted for Batch Processing

If you decided to run your report in batch mode (have it emailed to you when done), you will get this message.

Report Status

If you decided to run your report on-line, you will get a window displaying the stage and percent complete of the report. You can cancel the report if you made an error or it is taking too long. You may also close the status window. When the on-line report is done it will be delivered to your browser. If the output is a Report it will appear in a new tab. If the output is a workfile or XML (or you selected multiple outputs) your browser will prompt you to download a zipped file.

9.3.1. Report Contents

All reports contain a PDF cover page echoing your selection criteria.

If your only output is PDF files, this page will be added to the beginning.

If your output includes non-PDF output, all files will be zipped into a single archive that includes the cover page echoing your selection criteria and one or more files with the results (depending on the report and the outputs). All of the files will begin with the File Name you entered on the Criteria Set tab and include suffixes and extensions.

10. Appendixes

10.1. Changes By Version

Version 1.0.0

July 31, 2013

Initial release