New EPA guidance and AERMOD coming soon

Posted by on Monday, April 22nd, 2019 in Newsletters
What’s Happening Now

Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead – Recap – Last month’s AWMA modeling specialty conference in Durham, NC, dubbed Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead, was a great success. There were lots of great technical paper presentations, notices of upcoming EPA guidance releases (plus news of an upcoming new AERMOD) and lots of our awesome BEEST users!

EPA News

New AERMOD coming soon! – At last month’s AWMA modeling conference, EPA revealed that we can expect to see a new version of AERMOD to be released by the end of April 2019. Some changes in the new version will include:

  • A new LOWWIND alpha (experimental) option
  • A new Tier 2 NO2 option (also alpha)
  • A new RLINE line source option (not sure if it will be alpha or beta)
  • Two new building downwash alpha options – PRIME2 and PRIMEORD
  • Bug fixes related to buoyant line source algorithm and AERMET

EPA noted that other AERMOD technical enhancements that are being worked on, but will not be in this 2019 release, include:

  • A new Tier 3 NO2 option (based on ADMS model)
  • Overwater impacts improvements – e.g. lattice structure downwash, shoreline/coastal fumigation
  • Saturated plumes

New EPA Guidance – EPA has also indicated we can expect these upcoming guidance documents:

  • Final guidance on Modeled Emission Rates for Precursors (MERPs) – by end of April 2019
  • Draft PM2.5 and ozone permit modeling guidance – out for comment in April 2019

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 conducted a webinar on 19039_DRFT on April 4, 2019. If you missed it, EPA has posted the webinar slides to SCRAM. For more information on 19039_DRFT, go to 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!

Model Clearinghouse Memo – On March 20, 2019, the EPA Model Clearinghouse released a concurrence memo on BLP/AERMOD Hybrid Approach for Buoyant Fugitives in Complex Terrain. You can read the full memo here.

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 ( for updates.

Terrain Data Conversion – As we mentioned in December, EPA has come up with a workaround regarding obtaining land cover data and NED data in GeoTIFF format. See 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 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

Other Events

**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

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, 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 we teased above, when BEEST 11.14 comes out, it will include a new tool that will allow you to convert the ARCGrid-formatted land-cover and NED data to GeoTIFF in a seamless, painless manner!

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 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 already here! We think that this handy tool will be a game changer and so will you! Imagine being able to download ambient monitoring data and creating a temporally-varying (e.g. HROFDY, SEASHR) AERMOD-ready background file with just a few clicks! Or what about being able to do multiple Class I area 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.

AERMOD Wizard 1.01 will be out soon and it will include the ability to do backward, as well as forward, trajectories. These trajectories can be exported to Google Earth.

*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!

“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 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 or

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



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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

October 1-3, 2019
12th Conference on Air Quality Models
Research Triangle Park, NC

Our complete class schedule can be found at