EPA’s 12th Conference on Air Quality Models has been announced

Posted by on Monday, March 18th, 2019 in Newsletters
What’s Happening Now

A great big thanks to all the folks who joined us for AERMOD training in Austin last month. You guys rock!

EPA News

New AERSURFACE – On February 21, 2019, EPA released the new, draft version of AERSURFACE, called 19039_DRFT. This new draft has been released for public review and testing. After the informal comment period, EPA will incorporate the public feedback and release an updated version of AERSURFACE for regulatory applications. The EPA would appreciate written informal comments no later than Monday, April 22, 2019.

EPA will be conducting a webinar on 19039_DRFT on April 4, 2019 at 2 pm EDT. Click here to register for the webinar. For more information on 19039_DRFT, go to https://www.epa.gov/scram/draft-aersurface. There, you will find source code, executables, a user’s guide and other documentation.

Upon release of the final, updated version of AERSURFACE, we will incorporate it into BEEST and AERMOD Wizard as soon as possible!

2019 R/S/L Modelers’ Workshop – EPA has announced that the 2019 Regional/State/Local Modelers’ Workshop will be held May 7‑9, 2019 at the EPA Region 10 offices in Seattle, WA. However, unlike the last couple of years, there will not be a public session. Related to that…

12th Conference on Air Quality Models – EPA has tentatively scheduled the 12th Conference on Air Quality Models for October 1‑3, 2019 in Research Triangle Park, NC. This triennial Clean Air Act-mandated conference will provide the opportunity for public input to EPA’s ongoing model and modeling guidance development. Keep watching SCRAM (www.epa.gov/scram) for updates.

As we mentioned in December, EPA has come up with a workaround regarding obtaining land cover data and NED data in GeoTIFF format. See https://www.epa.gov/scram/interim-access-and-process-use-1992-nlcd-and-ned. We presented a webinar on this back on January 31. Click here to see the video for the webinar. *AND* when BEEST 11.14 comes out, it will include a new tool that will allow you to convert the ArcGrid-formatted data to GeoTIFF in a seamless, painless manner!

Conferences and Workshops

Air & Waste Management Association

**New Source Review Workshop Manual** – If you do New Source Review air permitting (and/or modeling), please note that AWMA’s New Source Review Manual is now available! This new version is available online in an interactive, hyperlinked and searchable format. It covers all the big NSR-related topics, such as PSD / nonattainment applicability, BACT, air quality analysis, and modeling. Check here for details.

**HOT** AWMA Specialty Conference – “Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead” – AWMA’s next modeling specialty conference is almost here. This one has been dubbed The Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead and will be March 19‑21, 2019 in Durham, NC at the Marriott at Research Triangle Park. For more information go to https://www.awma.org/aqmodels. Providence is a sponsor of this conference, and we hope to see you there, too!

**HOT** AWMA ACE 2019 – The 112th AWMA Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) will be held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada June 25‑28, 2019. This year’s theme is “Winds of Change – Environment, Energy, and Health.” General conference information can be found at https://www.awma.org/ace2019.

Other Events

**HOT** Carolinas Air Pollutions Control Association Spring Technical Conference and Forum – The 2019 CAPCA spring technical conference and forum is set for April 10‑12, 2019 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of CAPCA, so make plans to attend this premier event. Click here for more information.

**HOT** TCEQ 2019 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference – The 2019 edition of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Environmental Trade Fair and Conference will be held May 14‑15, 2019 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. This annual event offers the opportunity to learn the latest and greatest related to environmental regulation in Texas. Providence will be there as an exhibitor, so look for us at booth 314 in the Exhibit Hall. For more information about the conference, go to https://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/events/etfc/etf.html.

If your company, organization, agency, State, etc. has an upcoming modeling or air quality-related event 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.

Simply the Best!


BEEST 11.13 is out! This new version includes:

  • Ability to Find “Other” objects within Show Current Data Graphically
  • An updated Import KML tool
  • Displays a message when a met station’s profile base elevation is not in the EPA database
  • Several bug fixes

*AND* BEEST 11.13 includes our new Lidar Calculator, a tool that helps you obtain heights for buildings and tanks based on airborne downward-looking Lidar data.

We did a webinar back on January 29 that presented both the new features found in BEEST 11.13 *plus* a demo of our new Lidar Calculator. Click here to view the video for the webinar.

As always, users in maintenance can download the most recent version of BEEST from Support → Software Updates.

“Go BEEST Mode!” — What? You still don’t have your own “Go BEEST Mode” t-shirt? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty left – so email your request to info@providenceoris.com and receive your very own “Go BEEST Mode” T-shirt! You’ll be the envy of modelers everywhere!

AerScreen for Windows

Since AerScreen for Windows uses both AERMOD and AERMAP, we released AerScreen for Windows 3.06 on May 31, 2018. This new version fully supports AERMOD 18081 and AERMAP 18081.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of AerScreen for Windows from Support → Software Updates.

Professional CalPuff

Our most recent version of Professional CalPuff (4.00) was released August 26, 2016 and is available to all registered users with current maintenance.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of Professional CalPuff from Support → Software Updates.


AERMOD Wizard 1.00 is here! We think that this handy tool will be a game changer and so will you! Imagine being able to download ambient data and creating a temporally varying AERMOD-ready background file with just a few clicks! Or what about being able to do multiple Q/D analyses with just a few clicks? Or building wind roses and/or pollutant roses and be able to export them to Google Earth – also with just a few clicks? That’s not all this amazing tool can do, so go here to get your own copy of AERMOD Wizard.

We presented our AERMOD Wizard kick-off webinar back on February 5. We demonstrated all the current features of this awesome new utility. If you missed it, click here to view the video for the webinar.

*We’re off to see 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

BEEST has several useful features related to building-downwash. The first is BEEST’s ability to display each building’s Good Engineering Practice (GEP) 5*L zone and its direction-specific Structure Influence Zone (SIZ). The SIZ is defined as a rectangle about the building that extends 5*L downwind of the building, 2*L upwind of the building, and ½*L to either side (crosswind of the building). BEEST can create and plot these before you run BPIP-PRIME. To do this, go to Show Current Data Graphically in BEEST.

On the toolbar of buttons to the left, go to the second row down, second button from the right (“Show GEP5L”), and click the button. Then, on your Show Current Data Graphically display, place your cursor over the anchor point of your building of interest, and right-click. Select “Show GEP5L and SIZ” on the pop-up menu. BEEST will then generate that building’s GEP5L area around it (hatched) as well as the SIZ for a wind direction of 10 degrees (solid lines). If you press the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard, BEEST will advance the wind direction 10 degrees counterclockwise or clockwise, respectively. For multiple-tiered buildings, BEEST draws the GEP5L and SIZ for each of the tiers.

A second handy tool within BEEST is the ability to create sloped roof structures, such as gabled roofs or shed-type roofs. To do this, go to Show Current Data Graphically and click the “Add Building” button on the left-hand side (second row from the bottom, second button from the left) and draw in a 4-sided building (it can only be 4-sided, but doesn’t have to be an exact rectangle or square). After the building has been drawn in, the “Add Building” pop-up appears, and you enter a building name and height. Instead of clicking Done, click “Create Sloped Roof”. A pop-up labeled “Create Building Roof” appears. You then tell BEEST to create either a gabled roof or shed-style roof. The height that you initially entered in “Add Building” is the base or lower part of the sloped roof, so you must then tell BEEST how high the apex of the roof is to be. BEEST creates a series of tiers to simulate the gable or shed roof and you may use up to 14 tiers (going from base to apex). You tell BEEST which side(s) of the building are lowest (base of roof) – 2 sides for gable roof, 1 side for shed roof. Then click “Create Roof” and BEEST will generate your gable roof or shed roof for you. You can even click the “3-D View” button to see your new sloped-roof building in 3-D!

“Our expertise is contagious. Catch it!”

AERMOD Modeling for Permits

Our next scheduled AERMOD Modeling for Permits class for 2019 will be April 23‑24 in Austin, Texas. Register today and plan to join us in the Live Music Capital of the World! Click here to register!

Advanced AERMOD

Similarly, our next scheduled Advanced AERMOD class for 2019 is going to be April 25‑26, also in Austin.

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 MaxDCont Viewer)
  • Meteorological data processing with AERMET / AERMINUTE / AERSURFACE
  • Changes related to the new Appendix W (Guideline on Air Quality Models)
  • MAXIFILE and ARRAY2 processing
  • AERMOD alpha options, such as PSDCREDIT
  • AERMOD Wizard and its uses

Click here to register!

2019 Class Schedule

Here’s our current list of the rest of our scheduled AERMOD classes for 2019:

Class Dates
AERMOD Modeling for Permits August 20 – 21
Advanced AERMOD August 22 – 23
AERMOD Modeling for Permits December 3 – 4
Advanced AERMOD December 5 – 6

**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 an on-site class. Have laptop, will travel!**


**BeestXpress has been upgraded to run AERMOD 18081**

In addition, 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 50 partitions per AERMOD run

To date, BeestXpress has processed over 300,000 AERMOD runs. Wow!

If you’ve never used BeestXpress, or it has been a while since you did, you may want to log on at www.beestxpress.com to take advantage of our AERMOD “force multiplier”. That AERMOD run that might have taken a day to run 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 or CalPuff-ready meteorological data? If so, we can help! Whether it’s running the AERMET / AERMINUTE system or a full CalMet run, Providence has the background, know-how, and experience to have your data processed and ready for you ASAP. Need on-site data processed? We do that, too! 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 SCREEN3 and AERSCREEN to plume models like ISC and AERMOD to CalPuff to CAMx. The types of analyses included basic Significant Impact Level, NAAQS, PSD increment consumption, Class I analyses, air toxics, and SIP attainment demonstrations. Most recently, we have begun conducting nonattainment permit inter-pollutant trading (NOx for VOC) modeling using CAMx. 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 or info@providenceoris.com.


Calendar separator

March 19-21, 2019
AWMA Specialty Conference: Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead
Durham, NC

April 10-12, 2019
Carolinas Air Pollutions Control Association (CAPCA) 2019 Spring Conference
Asheville, NC

April 23-24, 2019
AERMOD Modeling for Permits
Austin, TX

April 25-26, 2019
Advanced AERMOD
Austin, TX

May 14-15, 2019
TCEQ 2019 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference
Austin, TX

June 25-28, 2019
112th AWMA Annual Conference and Exhibition
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Our complete class schedule can be found at www.providenceoris.com.