EPA Regional/State/Local Modelers Workshop Happening Set for July in Denver

Posted by on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 in Newsletters

What’s Happening Now

EPA News

*HOT* 2024 EPA Regional/State/Local Modelers Workshop – This annual event has been set for July 30-August 1, 2024 at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment located at 4300 Cherry Creek S Drive in Denver, CO.  July 30 has been designated as the Stakeholder (public) day. Expect to hear a lot about the 2024 update to the Guideline on Air Quality Models, the impending 2024 AERMOD release, and issues related to the revised PM2.5 NAAQS.

For information on registration and logistics, click here and to view the draft agenda, go here. Providence will be there and hope to see you there, too!

*HOT* New Annual PM2.5 SIL – To go along with the revised annual PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA released an updated annual PM2.5 Significant Impact Level (SIL) of 0.13 µg/m3.  Additional EPA guidance related to this new SIL can be found here.

*HOT* New Guidance and Tools for New PM2.5 NAAQS – EPA recognizes the challenges associated with modeling for the new annual PM2.5 NAAQS and has released a new list of effective permitting tools to assist applicants required to demonstrate compliance with the new annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The list of tools may be found here.

*HOT* EPA Changes to Secondary SO2 NAAQS – – It looks like we’ll be seeing changes to another National Ambient Air Quality Standard, this time, for the secondary SO2 standard.  On April 3, 2024, EPA proposed to replace the current secondary SO2 standard of 0.5 ppm (or 1,300 µg/m3) over a 3-hour averaging period with a new annual secondary standard of 10-15 parts per billion (ppb) (or 26-39 µg/m3). Click here to find out more about these proposed SO2 NAAQS changes.


Conferences and Workshops

*HOT* The 2024 AWMA Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) will be held in Calgary, AB June 24-27, 2024.  ACE is returning to the scene of the popular 2010 Conference, and this one should also be outstanding!  Click here for more information on registration, etc.  If you go, be sure to catch Providence’s own Robynn Andracsek’s paper/presentation entitled AERMOD: Tips and Tricks for When a Model Doesn’t Pass on Wednesday June 26.

*HOT* AWMA New Source Review (NSR) Workshop – It’s back! The latest AWMA NSR Workshop is coming to Rosemont, IL September 17-18, 2024. Need to learn more about Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or Nonattainment Review air permitting? Or maybe you’re in the market for a refresher or just want to learn about the latest developments? Then, this workshop is for you. Providence’s Robynn Andracsek will be one of the presenters, focusing on BACT, and nonattainment review.  To learn more about the workshop, including links to registration and lodging, click here

*HOT* AWMA Louisiana Section 2024 Fall Conference – This annual conference is set for October 29-30, 2024 at the L’Auberge Hotel and Casino in Baton Rouge, LA. Click here for more information and click here to see the Call for Abstracts.  Providence will definitely be there and we hope to see you there, too!

*HOT* AWMA Modeling Conference “Guideline on Air Quality Models: A New Chapter – The air quality modeling committee of AWMA has scheduled this specialty conference to be held at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel in Raleigh, NC November 13-15, 2024.  A Call for Abstracts came out on May 30, 2024, and can be found here.  More information on this specialty conference can be found at https://www.awma.org/aqmodels.   We will be there and hope to see you there, too.

If your company, organization, agency, State, etc. has an upcoming modeling or air quality-related event (virtual or otherwise) and you’d like it publicized in Providence/Oris Notes, please send that information to us at info@providenceoris.com, and we’ll be happy to include it.

Providence Products

Simply the best!

Changes to Licensing in 2024

You may have received an email from us recently highlighting upcoming changes to our software licensing structure. The changes, to take effect after June 30, 2024, include:

• No new multi-user licenses will be issued/sold after June 30, 2024.  Existing multi-user licenses will still be honored and are renewable.

• Existing single user licenses may not be upgraded to multi-user after June 30, 2024.  If you wish to upgrade before the deadline, please contact us (sales@providenceoris.com) immediately for a quote.

• No new Max-3 licenses are being issued.  Existing Max-3 licenses will still be honored and are renewable.

• No changes to Enterprise licenses, air regulator licenses, or academic/research licenses.

To read all of the upcoming changes go to https://www.providenceoris.com/software-licensing/.


BEEST 12.10 has been released!  BEEST 12.10 allows you to run AERMOD 23132 and AERMET 23132, but currently does not include an interface for the new COARE over-water algorithms in AERMET.  It includes all of these great new features:

• *The AERMOD 23132 executable* (although the new keywords will be incorporated into BEEST 12.11
• *The AERMET 23132 executable*
• Support for new AERMOD 22112 alpha keywords SWPOINT, RLINEXT, and PLATFORM
• Ability to export new SWPOINT and RLINEXT source types to Google Earth
• The AerMinute GUI includes download access to the new 1-minute ASOS data site (National Center for Environmental Information or NCEI website — as was discussed in in October 2022 Providence/Oris Notes)
• We’ve added the ability to add receptors along an Other line (like a road or railroad)
• Reads the ArcGIS world file when the user opens a background map
• Updated Terrain File Converter to read the latest version of GDAL library files
• Added a warning in Receptor Options when the number of partitions is greater than the total number of receptors
• Added confirmation prompt when the user clicks the “Remove last day from output files” button in AerMet
• Added a list of ASOS station anemometer heights to guidance documents
• An updated WindRose utility
• And more!

We presented a webinar on the new features in BEEST 12.10 back on December 21, 2023. If you missed it, you can view the recording of it here.

Look for BEEST 12.11 to be out soon! This update will include:

• AERMET GUI upgraded to include support for new PROG and COARE keywords;
• BEEST supports new AERMOD 23132 keywords;
• Added the ability to select all or none of the pollutants and years on the AERMOD Setup form.

As always, users in maintenance can download the most recent version of BEEST from https://www.providenceoris.com/software-downloads/.

“Go BEEST Mode !” We still have plenty of Go BEEST Mode t-shirts! You can request one of those by emailing us at info@providenceoris.com.

AerScreen for Windows

AerScreen for Windows 4.04 is now out! The update has these new features/enhancements:

  • Runs AERMOD 23132
  • Terrain Files Converter has been updated to use Geospatial Data Abstraction Library 3.7
  • Terrain Files Converter User Manual has been updated

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of AerScreen for Windows from https://www.providenceoris.com/software-downloads/.


AERMOD Wizard 1.09 is out and includes these updates:

  • Updated AERMET version to 23132
  • Ability to download all of the EPA 2022 ambient monitoring data
  • Ability to export Class I areas and Class I area receptors to Google Earth
  • Ability to download ASOS data from the new NCEI website
  • Inclusion of the 2020 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) data set
  • And more!

We presented a webinar on the new features in AERMOD Wizard 1.09 back on February 1. If you missed it, you can click here to view the recording.

Users in maintenance can download AERMOD Wizard from https://www.providenceoris.com/software-downloads/.

We’re off to use the Wizard!

If you have suggestions for an enhancement to any of our modeling software products, please let us know and we’ll do our best to incorporate it into the software ASAP!

Modeling Tip of the Month

This month, you might say we’re taking a step back in time. When the modeled concentration is too high, determining source culpability is a critical exercise.  Evaluations of the 24-hour PM2.5, 1-hour SO2, and 1-hour NO2 NAAQS may use the MAXDCONT output option to assess source contributions/culpability. However, if we’re dealing with non-probabilistic pollutants/averaging periods, we can use the AERMOD Event Model.  The EVENT Model is a follow-on to a standard AERMOD run.  EV is a new pathway that comes from the AERMOD run.  Its input file name (EVENTFIL keyword) can be found in the Control Options pathway:

– CO TITLEONE Event test case
CO EVENTFIL “O:\Training classes\AERMOD Event Test w MAXIFILE” DETAIL

The format of the EVENTFIL keyword has the name of the EVENT input file (e.g., “O:\Training classes\AERMOD Event Test w MAXIFILE“) plus the EVOPT secondary keyword (DETAIL or SOCONT).

SOCONT: gives the average concentration from each source for the averaging period corresponding to each source group

DETAIL: Same contribution information as SOCONT, but it also gives the hourly concentration for each source for every hour in the averaging period PLUS a summary of the hourly meteorological data for the event period.

Running AERMOD with the EVENTFIL keyword will create an input file for the EVENT model, which must be run as the second step in the process.  That is, one of the outputs from the initial AERMOD run will be a new input file for running the EVENT model.  If you don’t specify differently, the default EVENT model input file name is EVENTS.INP (however, if you’re using BEEST, you get to specify the input file name).  The EVENT model input file will have CO, SO, ME, EV, and OU pathways.  (No Receptor path needed)
The EVENT model uses a default nomenclature to describe each Event, defined with the EVENTPER and EVENTLOC keywords:

EVENTPER – defines the averaging period, data period, and source group. It includes the keywords Evname, Aveper, Grpid and Date

EVENTLOC –This defines the receptor location for the event.  Includes keywords Evname, XR (receptor easting), YR (receptor northing), Zelev, and Zflag. The Zelev and Zflag keywords are optional.

Examples of Event names (Evname) from the EVENT model output:

• H001H24001 – refers to highest first high 24-hour average for source group 1
• H002H03003 – refers to highest second high 3-hour average for source group 3
• TH03000003 – refers to exceedance of 3-hour threshold (from MAXIFILE) for source group 3

Besides source contributions related just to pollutant design values, the user can also determine concentration contributions where a concentration threshold – a MAXIFILE – is input to AERMOD.  That is, the EVENT model can also provide culpability for source groups contributing to an Event where a MAXIFILE-defined threshold is exceeded.

With all this talk about the EVENT model, what do these files actually look like?  Below is a screenshot of an AERMOD input (DTA) file, but now note the EVENTFIL keyword in the Control Options pathway:


After AERMOD runs, it creates the EVENTFIL, which becomes the input file for the EVENT model run.  That input file looks like this:

Notice that the EV pathway lists out the 3 events (and two averaging periods) for which we wish to assess culpability. 

To set up and run the EVENT Model in BEEST is very straightforward.  In your BEEST file, click on Control Options:

Once there, click the CO Files tab:

If you click the File button for the EVENTFIL Option, you can browse to where you want to generate the EVENTFIL and give it a name.  After you do, the Detail and SOCONT buttons are activated. Pick which option you want:

Then, go to Source Options | Source Groups and make sure you’ve set up the groups for which you want to assess contribution/culpability. For example:

Then go to Output Options and make sure you’ve got the correct ranks set (for example, 2nd high for 3-hour and 24-hour SO2 increment):

If you’re evaluating events with a MAXIFILE, go to the Output Options | Maxi tab and set those values (example is 3-hour and 24-hour SO2 increment):

Now, simply run AERMOD like you normally do.  After AERMOD finishes running, go to the Run menu at the top of your BEEST screen and select Events.

With the EVENTFIL created in the AERMOD run, clicking Events runs the Event Model and allows you to determine contributions for each event to your target source group (usually ALL).  When you click Run | Events, you’ll see this:

Click Run Events, AERMOD runs the Event Model and then you’ll see this:

You can click View Summary and BEEST will open your Event Model list (*.LST) file where you can review the contributions from each source to your target group (ALL) for each event.

Providence Training

Modeling skills ready for an upgrade? We can help!

We want to note that many folks use our classes as credit toward professional engineer continuing education requirements. Check with your state’s licensing board or the National Society of Professional Engineers (see here or here) for more information on what is required.

Essential Air Permitting

Providence’s next Essential Air Permitting class will be August 19, 2024 and it will be on-line.  This class is tailored to those folks who are new to air permitting or perhaps new environmental managers who need a good overview of the basic issues related to air permitting. Topics such as statutes, applicability, netting, emission calculations, and Title V are just some of the areas that are covered. To register for this Essential Air Permitting class, click here.

AERMOD Modeling for Permits

Our next AERMOD Modeling for Permits class for 2024 will be August 20-21, 2024 and it will be on-line. If you are wanting to get started in air modeling, then this class is for you! If you want to register, please click here.

Advanced AERMOD

Similarly, our next Advanced AERMOD class will be August 22-23, 2024, and it will also be on-line.

Advanced AERMOD covers those topics that are near and dear to modelers, such as:

• NAAQS modeling for 1-hour NO2, 1-hour SO2, and 24-hour PM2.5 (including the new MAXDCONT Viewer)
• Meteorological data processing with AERMET/AERMINUTE/AERSURFACE
• Culpability Determination
• Background Concentrations
• Emission scalars and Hourly Emission Rate files
• Changes in Terrain Data Processing and
• AERMOD Wizard and its uses

To register for Advanced AERMOD, click here.

**Modeling for Non-Modelers**

Given the importance that modeling plays in demonstrating compliance, we think that all stakeholders of the air quality permitting team (client/applicant, permit application preparer, modeler, attorney, etc) need to have a basic understanding of air quality modeling. Do you know a manager, an attorney, or a client who knows just enough about dispersion modeling to be dangerous?  Wouldn’t it be better if that person knew enough about dispersion modeling to understand the basic modeling process and regulatory drivers, knew how to interpret modeling results, and knew when it was necessary to bring a modeling expert into the decision-making process?  If so, our Modeling for Non-Modelers class is for them.  This 1-day class doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of setting up and running the model, but it does familiarize students with enough of the process so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to dispersion modeling.  This year’s edition of our popular Modeling for Non-Modelers class has been set for Thursday September 19, 2024, and will be presented on-line.  Click here to register.

Just as a reminder, if you register more than 30 days before your training class(es), you will receive a $100 discount on the course fee (per class, per registrant).

On-demand Meteorological Data Processing webinar

We are planning to launch a new training option – on-demand webinars. The first of these to be released will be “Meteorological Data Processing for AERMOD”.  Look for it at www.providenceoris.com coming soon.

On-demand AERSCREEN webinar

We will be releasing an on-demand training webinar for AERSCREEN.  Watch this space for details!

Don’t forget, if our schedule of classes doesn’t mesh with your schedule, or if you have several people that need to be trained at once, contact us about setting up your own onsite or online class.

2024 Class Dates

Here are our training dates for the rest of 2024.

Date Class Location
August 19 Essential Air Permitting On-line
August 20-21 AERMOD Modeling for Permits On-line
August 22-23 Advanced AERMOD On-line
September 19 Modeling for Non-Modelers On-line
December 9 Essential Air Permitting On-line
December 10-11 AERMOD Modeling for Permits On-line
December 12-13 Advanced AERMOD On-line

Providence Services


Our newer, faster BeestXpress processors run the new AERMOD 23132!

If you’ve never used our super-fast cloud-based BeestXpress before, now is the time. We have an on-demand webinar that steps you through the process of setting up an BeestXpress account and sending off your first BeestXpress run. You can view the webinar here. New BeestXpress users can complete their first run with up to 50 partitions absolutely FREE. Instructions about receiving the free run are given at the end of the webinar. Beyond the starter run BeestXpress will give you a per-run cost estimate before you begin. If you need help budgeting for BeestXpress, contact us for additional daily rate pricing options.

BeestXpress users have some great system enhancements to work with:

  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays the pollutant being modeled
  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays run progress for MAXDCONT calculations
  • Modeling runs with multiple partitions now include a combined AERMOD input file (*.DTA) in the output .ZIP file
  • Added an option to the “Submit Job” webpage that affects modeling runs with multiple partitions: the intermediate output files created by each partition can be omitted from the output .ZIP file
  • The “Job Search” webpage now includes the option to search by project number
  • Users have access to up to 99 partitions per AERMOD run

To date, BeestXpress has processed over 500,000 AERMOD runs.

BeestXpress users can log on at www.beestxpress.com to take advantage of our AERMOD “force multiplier”. That AERMOD run that might have taken a day or two to process on your desktop computer can finish in an hour or less on BeestXpress. When time is money, BeestXpress is the best modeling return on investment there is!

Meteorological Data Processing Services

Do you need AERMOD-ready meteorological data? If so, we can help! Whether it’s running national weather service data or onsite monitor met data through the AERMET/AERMINUTE system, Providence has the background, know-how, and experience to have your data processed and ready for you ASAP. If you’d like more information, contact us at info@providenceoris.com or jamesred@providenceeng.com.

Consulting Solutions

One thing that we’re very proud of is the depth and range of our modeling experience and expertise. The kinds of air quality models we’ve used include all types, ranging from simple screening tools like SCREEN and AERSCREEN to plume models like ISC and AERMOD. The types of analyses include basic Significant Impact Level, NAAQS, PSD increment consumption, Class I analyses, air toxics and SIP attainment demonstrations. So, we’ve seen it all. To that end, should you or your clients need additional modeling assistance or just a second set of eyes to QA or peer review your modeling (ranging from initial protocol up to final submission), we stand ready to help. Feel free to contact us at 512‑258‑8855, 828‑628‑0634 or info@providenceoris.com.


AWMA Annual Conference and Exhibition ACE
June 24-27, 2024
Calgary, AB

EPA Regional/State/Local Modelers Workshop
July 30 – August 1, 2024
Denver, CO

Essential Air Permitting
August 19, 2024

AERMOD Modeling for Permits
August 20-21, 2024

Advanced AERMOD
August 22-23, 2024

AWMA New Source Review Workshop
September 17-18, 2024
Rosemont, IL

Modeling for Non-Modelers
September 19, 2024

AWMA Louisiana Section Fall 2024 Conference
October 29-30, 2024
Baton Rouge, LA

AWMA Specialty Conference – Guideline on Air Quality Models: A New Chapter
November 13-15, 2024
Raleigh, NC

Our complete class schedule can always be found at https://www.providenceoris.com/training/

For More Information:

Phone: (512) 258-8855
Email: info@providenceoris.com
Visit our websites:
www.providenceoris.com (software, support, and training)
www.beestxpress.com (cloud-based high speed AERMOD)