Department of Defense (DoD) compliance with the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and evolving Federal, state, local regulatory standards has been very difficult with the current myriad of non-standardized approaches. A planning system combining air quality impact assessment with rule-based algorithms for determining optimal strategies will enable the Air Force and Army to apply cost-effective air emissions control and mitigation techniques in a consistent manner.
This project developed an Emission Reduction Planning Model (EPRM), an integrated air emissions-dispersion database and expert decision system, to aid environmental planners and air pollution managers in reducing criteria and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions at Air Force and Army installations. Once finalized, the software was transitioned to the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) for distribution and implementation at facilities nationwide.
The approach for this project consisted of five phases. The first phase added compliance strategies to the ERPM apart from "end-of-tailpipe" control techniques, such as pollution prevention techniques. The second phase involved linking advanced dispersion models to the ERPM as well as providing the user with rules-of-thumb for using the models and interpreting the results. The third phase involved a field test of the ERPM model, including independent validation of the ERPM methodologies, data structures, and user interface by experts in the field as well as by the ultimate end users of the ERPM (i.e., DoD environmental coordinators). The fourth phase involved modifying the ERPM based on internal and external feedback obtained during the Phase II field test of the model. The fifth phase sample screen shot of the Developed Emission Reduction Planning Model (now called the Air Compliance Advisor) Database involved completing a version of the ERPM that contained all of the analytical capabilities developed specifically for the ERPM.
The emissions inventory database interface was completed, which allows the ERPM software to extract and analyze emissions inventory data from a variety of existing software packages. The SCREEN3 dispersion screening model was incorporated to provide a conservative estimate of ambient pollutant concentrations. Phase I testing of the ERPM computer model was conducted with representative Army/Air Force users to evaluate its utility in selecting emissions control technologies. This project was completed in FY 1997.
A system combining air quality impact assessment with rule-based expert algorithms for determining optimized reduction and compliance strategies will enable the Air Force and Army to apply cost-effective control and mitigation techniques in a consistent manner. The man-hours and expense required to select and implement high-impact emissions reduction programs will be reduced as a result. The resulting software may have substantial application potential at other Federal and private facilities.