Fugitive dust generated by military activity can contribute to local exceedances of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM10 and/or PM2.5, particulate matter (PM). Geological sources of dust can have health impacts. Fugitive dust emitted into the environment by Department of Defense (DoD) testing and training activities can adversely affect military personnel in the vicinity of the emissions and impact air quality beyond the boundaries of installations. Unpaved road dust emissions due to vehicle activity is likely the largest category of activity-based fugitive dust emissions on DoD installations located in arid settings. The overall objective of this project was to demonstrate the TRAKER technology for road dust emission measurements for DoD installations. Dust-Solve, LLC using TRAKER can provide technical services to DoD installations in support of developing dust management plans. 

Technology Description

TRAKER measures road dust emissivity. The emissivity measurements can be scaled to represent other vehicles based on their weight and travel speed. During measurements a pump draws air through two inlet lines that sample PM in the wake of TRAKER. A portion of this flow is delivered to internal inlet lines within the plenum that are connected to photometers, which are equipped with either PM10 or PM2.5 inlets. The concentration measurements are geo-referenced by global positioning system to a location and travel speed at an acquisition rate of 1 hertz. Additional instrumentation is used to ascertain that ambient wind conditions are acceptable for the measurement to meet minimum quality criteria. Emission data are used as input to a dispersion model to estimate PM concentrations at specified receptors for a given testing and training vehicle activity scenario.

Demonstration Results

The performance target for measurement precision was 20%, which was achieved. More than 87% of road segments measured during the five field measurement periods had a coefficients of variation (CoV) lower than 20%, 95% of segments had a CoV lower than 30%, and 98.5% of segments had a CoV lower than 50%. TRAKER and environmental measurements revealed changes in road emissivity due to seasonal and meteorological influences. TRAKER can provide information to characterize and quantify the emission potential of a DoD facility‚Äôs road network, vehicle fleet characteristics and activity levels, aid in developing PM10 and PM2.5 inventories for permitting, and provide an assessment of the potential impacts of different testing and training activity scenarios on regional air quality. Cost components scale with the requested level of effort and the degree to which the installation takes on the tasks. Basic costs are: Initial Planning/Site Visit, $25K; TRAKER Daily Rate, $5K. Dust-Solve, LLC estimates that a typical implementation would be approximately $260-$420K, depending on complexity. An evaluation of dust palliative effectiveness would require using the TRAKER for multiple days and the level of effort will depend on the number of palliatives to be tested. The incremental cost for this ranges from $20 - $80K in most instances.

Implementation Issues

There are no Federal or State regulations that restrict operation of TRAKER other than the requirement to obey roadway rules and safety standards. Operating TRAKER on military installations may require compliance with an Environmental Impact Review, although the instrument has no impacts beyond any other pickup truck driving on the same road network.