The Holiday Quiz is Back

Posted by on Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 in Newsletters

What’s Happening Now

2018 Holiday Quiz!

It’s back – our annual Holiday Quiz. This is your opportunity to answer some modeling-related questions, have fun, and win a cool prize. Don’t worry, you don’t need a Blue Book, ScanTron, or #2 pencil for this quiz. Just submit your answers to and the first 5 contestants with all correct answers will win one of our incredible “Go BEEST Mode” t-shirts. So, without further ado, here’s the 2018 Providence/Oris Holiday Quiz:

1. Much was discussed over the last couple of years regarding EPA’s updating Appendix W to 40 CFR 51. A commonly used acronym for this document is GAQM. What does GAQM stand for?
  1. Guidance for Air Quality Monitoring
  2. Global Asset Quantum Mechanics
  3. Guideline on Air Quality Models
  4. Best Available Control Technology
  5. None of the above
2. The best air quality modeling software is
  1. AERMOD View
  3. Neither of the previous two options
  4. BEEST
  5. C and D
3. What capability does AERSCREEN have that AERMOD does not?
  1. Building downwash
  2. Fumigation calculations
  3. AREAPOLY sources
  4. MAXDCONT output option
  5. BACT
4. BeestXpress is Providence/Oris’ high-speed AERMOD modeling system. How does BeestXpress speed up your AERMOD run?
  1. The EPA AERMOD code has been parallelized and recompiled on a 486 PC.
  2. Extraneous options, such as actually calculating concentrations, have been removed
  3. Magic
  4. The large DTA file is partitioned into a user-defined number of smaller DTA files, each of which runs on its own core/processor
  5. Red Bull
5. AERMOD Wizard is a brand new software product being released by Providence/Oris. If you read our July – November newsletters, you’ll know that AERMOD Wizard can do these tasks:
  1. Automatically download raw meteorological and ambient air quality data
  2. Automatically calculate Q/D for any source/Class I area combination
  3. Generate wind roses and pollution roses, which can be exported to Google Earth
  4. Automatically create temporally varying background data for AERMOD
  5. Generate and plot forward trajectories from meteorological data
  6. All of the above (yes, all of the above!)

So, submit your answers to and good luck!

EPA News

If you’ve tried to run AERSURFACE lately and tried to download your own 1992 National Land Cover Database file, you know that the 1992 NLCD data are no longer available from the US Geologic Survey’s Multi-Resolution Landcover Characteristics (MRLC) database. In fact, NED data are also unavailable from this web site. Not only that, but USGS will also no longer make any land cover data or NED data available in GeoTIFF format. Until such time as AERMAP and AERSURFACE are updated to use the other data formats (e.g. ArcGrid, GridFloat, IMG), EPA has established interim procedures for converting these other data formats back to GeoTIFF so that they can be used by AERSURFACE and/or AERMAP. For more details, go to

In the meantime, we’re still awaiting the release of the new draft version of AERSURFACE, to be called 18152_DRFT. While the 1992 NLCD data are going away, the new draft AERSURFACE will be able to process the 2001, 2006, and 2011 land cover data sets.

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” – It was announced at the June meeting of the AWMA Air Pollution Modeling committee (held during ACE) that the next of AWMA’s series of dispersion modeling specialty conferences will be held in the spring of 2019. We now have a date and location! This specialty conference has been dubbed The Guideline on Air Quality Models: Planning Ahead and will be held March 19‑21, 2019 in Durham, NC. For more information go to We’ll be there and 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

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 will be released in January 2019. This new version includes:

  • Ability to Find “Other” objects within Show Current Data Graphically
  • 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 will also include our new Lidar Calculator, a tool that helps you obtain heights for buildings and tanks based on airborne downward-looking Lidar data.

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 is coming very soon! 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 pollution roses and be able to export them to Google Earth – also with just a few clicks? That’s not all this amazing tool will be able to do, so keep watching our website for the release of AERMOD Wizard in January 2019.

*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

Analyzing exceedances of threshold concentrations (the MAXIFILE keyword in AERMOD) can be a useful, if not tedious task. If you want to find out when individual exceedances occur, you can open the MAXIFILE that the AERMOD model created in a text editor and copy the data in the file to Excel. However, you should omit the lines at the top of the MAXIFILE that start with an asterisk (*) when copying the data. After that, click the “Text to Columns” button on the Data ribbon in Excel. A wizard for converting the text to columns will appear.

One the first screen, select the Delimited option and click Next. On the second screen, select both Tab and Space as Delimiters and click Next. On the third screen, click Finish. After this is done, you can filter the last column (which displays the concentration) to only display values above whatever threshold you set for the MAXIFILE (or a multiple of that threshold).

“Our expertise is contagious. Catch it!”

AERMOD Modeling for Permits

Our first scheduled AERMOD Modeling for Permits class for 2019 will be February 26‑27 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 first scheduled Advanced AERMOD class of 2019 is going to be February 28‑March 1, 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 the new 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 all of our scheduled AERMOD classes for 2019:

Class Dates Location
AERMOD Modeling for Permits February 26 – 27 Austin, TX
Advanced AERMOD February 28 – March 1 Austin, TX
AERMOD Modeling for Permits April 23 – 24 Austin, TX
Advanced AERMOD April 25 – 26 Austin, TX
AERMOD Modeling for Permits August 20 – 21 Austin, TX
Advanced AERMOD August 22 – 23 Austin, TX
AERMOD Modeling for Permits December 3 – 4 Austin, TX
Advanced AERMOD December 5 – 6 Austin, TX

**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


Calendar separator

February 26-27, 2019
AERMOD Modeling for Permits
Austin, TX

February 28-March 1, 2019
Advanced AERMOD
Austin, TX

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

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

April 25-26, 2019
Advanced AERMOD
Austin, TX

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

Our complete class schedule can be found at