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The short term NAAQS are more stringent and traditional techniques are not suitable anymore. The probabilistic nature of these standards also opens the door to modeling techniques based on probability. Source characterization studies can also be used to refine AERMOD’s inputs to be more accurate and achieve reductions of more than half. This presentation will cover these compliance methods.
Currently, it is assumed that a given emission unit is in operation at its maximum capacity every hour of the year. However, assuming constant maximum emissions is overly conservative for facilities such as power plants that are not in operation all the time at full load. A better approach is the use of the Monte Carlo technique to account for emission variability. Another conservative assumption in NAAQS modeling relates to combining predicted concentrations from AERMOD with maximum or design concentrations from the monitor. A more reasonable approach is to combine the 50th percentile background concentration with AERMOD values.
The inputs to AERMOD can be obtained by more accurate source characterization studies. Such is the case of building dimensions commonly calculated with BPIP. These dimensions tend to overstate the wake effects and produce significantly higher concentrations especially for lattice structures, elongated buildings, and streamlined structures. An Equivalent Building Dimensions (EBD) study can be used to inform AERMOD with more accurate downwash characteristics.