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AQS & Monitoring. In This Section We Will Talk About. In the field Before Monitoring QAPP – quality assurance project plan Annual monitoring plan Sampling schedule Coding the data stream for AQS Regulations Exceptional events Data certification process. Monitor the Air. Acquire Data.

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In this section we will talk about
In This Section We Will Talk About

  • In the field

  • Before Monitoring

    • QAPP – quality assurance project plan

    • Annual monitoring plan

    • Sampling schedule

  • Coding the data stream for AQS

  • Regulations

  • Exceptional events

  • Data certification process

Monitoring & AQS

Monitoring aqs

Monitor the Air

Acquire Data

Handle Data


Report (Load) Data



Monitoring & AQS


Monitoring & AQS

Before monitoring
Before Monitoring

  • QAPP (Quality Assurance Project Plan)

    • Ensures that the data collected meets the requirements

  • Annual monitoring plan

    • due to EPA Regional offices by July 1st of each year

  • Sampling Schedule

    • Daily, 3-day & 6-day Monitoring Schedule for PM-2.5

    • 6-day Monitoring Schedule for TSP, Pb, PM-10, and VOC

    • 12-day Monitoring Schedule for PM-2.5 Collocation

    • Use the sampling schedule to ensure data completeness


  • Duration

    • Continuous monitors for CO, SO2,NOx,Noy

    • Ozone data can be stored in any interval convenient to the S/L/T internal system; however hourly data (duration 1) is reported

    • Filter-based data is usually reported as 24-hour (duration 7) integrated samples

Monitoring & AQS

Additional info for reporting data to aqs
Additional info for Reporting Data to AQS

  • Monitors and Monitoring Agency Data Management Systems operate and report on “Local Standard Time” year-round (i.e., do not adjust clocks for daylight savings time)

  • Daily Samplers typically operate from midnight to midnight for the day of interest

  • Data are always reported with the Start Hour, e.g., a CO monitor that is reporting data would use “00:00” for the hour from midnight to 1 a.m.

  • Data submittal requirements are described in CFR §58.16

Monitoring & AQS


§ 58.16 Data submittal and archiving


(a) The State, or where appropriate, local agency, shall report to the Administrator, via AQS all ambient air quality data and associated quality assurance data for SO2; CO; O3; NO2; NO; NOY; NOX; Pb–TSP mass concentration; Pb–PM10 mass concentration; PM10 mass concentration; PM2.5mass concentration; for filter-based PM2.5FRM/ FEM the field blank mass, sampler-generated average daily temperature, and sampler-generated average daily pressure; chemically speciated PM2.5 mass concentration data; PM10–2.5 mass concentration; chemically speciated PM10–2.5 mass concentration data; meteorological data from NCore and PAMS sites; average daily temperature and average daily pressure for Pb sites if not already reported from sampler generated records; and metadata records and information specified by the AQS Data Coding Manual ( The State, or where appropriate,local agency, may report site specific meteorological measurements generated by onsite equipment (meteorological instruments, or sampler generated) or measurements from the nearest airport reporting ambient pressure and temperature. Such air quality data and information must be submitted directly to the AQS via electronic transmission on the specified quarterly schedule described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The specific quarterly reporting periods are January 1–March 31, April 1–June 30, July 1–September 30, and October 1–December 31. The data and information reported for each reporting period must contain all data and information gathered during the reporting period, and be received in the AQS within 90 days after the end of the quarterly reporting period. For example, the data for the reporting period January 1–March 31 are due on or before June 30 of that year.

(c) Air quality data submitted for each reporting period must be edited, validated, and entered into the AQS (within the time limits specified in paragraph (b) of this section) pursuant to appropriate AQS procedures. The procedures for editing and validating data are described in the AQS Data Coding Manual and in each monitoring agency’s quality assurance project plan.

(d) The State shall report VOC and if collected, carbonyl, NH3, and HNO3 data, from PAMS sites to AQS within 6 months following the end of each quarterly reporting period listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) The State shall also submit any portion or all of the SLAMS and SPM data to the appropriate Regional Administrator

upon request.

  • Meteorological parameters

    • Wind speed

    • Wind direction

    • Barometric pressure

    • temperature

  • Non-NAAQS pollutants

  • NAAQS pollutants

    • SO2 and related

    • NO2 and related

    • Lead

    • PM10

    • PM2.5

    • CO

    • ozone

Monitoring & AQS

Monitoring data for aqs site

ACME Particulate

Measuring Device

Monitoring data for AQS - Site

  • Monitoring instrumentation is at a particular location

  • Need to have a site established in AQS

    • State code + county code + site ID

    • Metadata – data describing the physical location

Site 11-222-3333

Monitoring & AQS

Monitoring data to aqs what is required to set up a site
Monitoring data to AQS – What is required to set-up a Site?

  • Unique Site ID

  • Metadata needed:

    • Latitude and longitude (in decimal degrees)

    • Horizontal datum (what datum was used for lat/lon?)

    • Horizontal method (how was lat/lon measured?)

    • Horizontal accuracy (accuracy of lat/lon, in meters)

    • Vertical measure (elevation, in meters)

    • Vertical accuracy (accuracy of elevation, in meters)

    • Vertical method (how elevation measured?)

    • Street address, land use type and location setting

    • Agency Role (agency that is supporting this site)

    • Primary Monitor Period (for lead, NO2, PM2.5)

Monitoring & AQS


ACME Particulate

Measuring Device


  • Monitoring instrument(s) for different parameters/pollutants

  • In AQS, a “monitor”means the sampling for a single parameter at a Site… does not refer to the actual measuring device

Site 11-222-3333

4 AQS Monitors





PM10 - Total

PM10 – Lead

PM10 – Mercury

PM10 - Nickel

Monitoring & AQS

Monitoring data to aqs what is required to set up a monitor
Monitoring data to AQS – What is required to set-up a Monitor?

  • An established Site

  • Parameter code

  • POC (parameter occurrence code) – a sequence number when measuring multiple occurrences of the same pollutant

  • Metadata:

    • Vertical probe height, etc is optional

    • Sample period begin date

    • Monitor type (SLAMS, Tribal Monitor. . )

    • Agency roles

    • Monitoring objective

    • Required collection frequency

    • Collocation info

Monitoring & AQS


ACME Particulate

Measuring Device


  • Sample measurements from the monitoring instrument

  • Reported to AQS as “Raw Data” – the sample measurements in some time increment (5-minute, hourly, daily) with units

Monitor 11-222-3333-81102-1

4.5 mg/cm3

2.4 ppm

3.2 ppb

1.7 mmHg

Monitoring & AQS

Met monitoring some commonly reported observations
Met Monitoring some commonly reported observations

  • Wind speed

    • Resultant or vector (61103 Wind Speed – Resultant) ** preferred

    • Scalar (61101 Wind Speed - Scalar)

  • Wind direction

    • Resultant or vector (61104 Wind Direction – Resultant) ** preferred

    • Scalar (61102 Wind Direction – Scalar)

  • Temperature

    • 62101 Outdoor Temperature

    • 62104 Temperature 24-Hr Max

  • Barometer (64101 Barometric Pressure )

  • Others (Dew Point, Relative Humidity, etc)

Monitoring & AQS

Met and non naaqs monitoring
Met and Non-NAAQS Monitoring

  • Simpler

  • Not as many regs and implications as for NAAQS

  • For all, it is the same process to get the data into AQS

Monitoring & AQS

Non naaqs monitoring
Non-NAAQS Monitoring

  • Ammonia

    • Find the parameter code

    • Find the units code

    • Find the methodology code describing the monitoring method

    • Use the correct time increment

  • And the raw data looks like this. . .

Monitoring & AQS

Sample measurements hourly in aqs format
Sample Measurements (hourly) in AQS format


Action Code “insert”

State Code|County Code|Site ID|Parameter|POC|

Duration Code

Measurement Units Code

Method Code


























Monitoring & AQS

Sample Measurement

Sample Date | Sample Start Hour

Naaqs monitoring
NAAQS Monitoring

  • NAAQS pollutants

    • SO2 and related

    • NO2 and related

    • Lead

    • PM10

    • PM2.5

    • CO

    • Ozone

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring1
NAAQS Monitoring


    • SO2 hourly standard (2010) requires 1-hour and 5-minute data

    • designate PMP at site-level for a new SO2 monitor

  • SO2 and related

    • SO2 hourly (42401, duration 1)

    • New reporting requirement for SO2 5-minute, effective August 23, 2010

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring2
NAAQS Monitoring


    • NO2 hourly standard (2010) requires hourly NO2 data

    • NO2 annual standard (1971) requires hourly NO2 data

  • NO2 and related

    • Hourly NO2 (42602, duration 1)

    • NO, NOx from NO2 instruments

    • NO, NOy from NO2 instruments at NCORE sites

  • Parameter codes

    • NO = nitrogen oxide = 42601

    • NO2 = nitrogen dioxide = 42602

    • NOx = oxides of nitrogen = 42603

    • NOy = reactive oxides of nitrogen = 42600

    • NOy – NO = difference channel output from NOybox = 42612

  • designate PMP for a new NO2 monitor

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring3
NAAQS Monitoring

  • Lead NAAQS

    • Lead 3-month (2009) requires 24-hour data

    • Lead 3-month PM10 surrogate (2009) requires 24-hour data

    • Lead quarterly (1978) requires 24-hour data

  • Parameter codes

    • Lead 3-month uses lead at local conditions = 14129 ** need a PMP at site-level

    • Lead PM10 surrogate uses lead/ PM10 at LC = 85129 ** need a PMP at site-level

    • Lead quarterly uses lead at STP = 12128 (for sites still designated nonattainment under the old standard)

  • “Technical Note – Lead Data Reporting to AQS, April 30, 2009”

  • Met parameters for outdoor temp & barometric pressure (only one set necessary per site)

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring4
NAAQS Monitoring

  • PM10 NAAQS requires 1-hour or 24-hour data

    • PM10 24-hr standard (2006)

  • Parameter codes

    • PM10 = 81102

  • For NCore, PMcoarse = PM10 - PM2.5

    • PMcoarse = 86101

    • PM2.5 (LC) = 88101

    • PM10 (LC) = 85101 (optional)

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring5
NAAQS Monitoring

  • PM2.5 NAAQS

    • PM2.5 annual standard (2006) requires 1-hour or 24-hour data

  • Parameter codes

    • PM2.5 at local conditions (FEM/FRM) = 88101

  • Primary Monitor must be defined in AQS at the site-level for collocation purposes

  • Technical Note - Reporting PM2.5 Continuous Monitoring and Speciation Data to the Air Quality System (AQS) 6/01/2006

  • For NCore, PMcoarse = PM10 - PM2.5

    • PMcoarse= 86101

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring6
NAAQS Monitoring


    • CO 8-hr standard (1971) requires 1-hour data

  • Parameter codes

    • CO = 42101

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs monitoring7
NAAQS Monitoring

  • O3 NAAQS

    • ozone 8-hr standard (2008) requires 1-hour data

    • ozone 1-hr daily (1997) requires 1-hour data

  • Parameter codes

    • O3 = 44201

  • Ozone primary standard

    • 0.075 ppm (2008) is based on the 8-hour average

    • To attain the standard, the 3-year average of the 4th highest daily max 8-hour average ozone concentration measured at each monitor within an area over each year must not exceed 0.075ppm

Monitoring & AQS

Multiple pollutant standards
Multiple pollutant standards

  • Must be able to distinguish between multiple pollutant standards in AQS

  • Will cover this in more detail in Standard Reports

Monitoring & AQS

Naaqs standards and monitoring
NAAQS Standards and Monitoring

  • AMTIC website (OAQPS monitoring group)


  • AQS website (OAQPS AQS group)


  • NAAQS website


  • Emails, technical memos, Federal Register

Monitoring & AQS

Site metadata
Site “Metadata”

  • Latitude and longitude + method used to determine

  • Site address

  • Supporting Agency

  • Begin date/End date

  • Local site name (e.g., Jones Elementary)

  • Land use

  • Location setting

  • Tangent roads (nearby roadways)

Monitoring & AQS

Monitor metadata
Monitor “Metadata”

  • Basic Monitor (Instrument) information (optional)

    • Probe location

    • Probe height (height of probe from ground)

    • Probe horizontal distance (distance from probe to support)

    • Probe vertical distance (vert. distance from probe to support)

    • etc

  • Sample period begin date

  • Monitor type (SLAMS, Tribal Monitor. . ) and begin date

  • Agency roles and begin date

  • Monitoring objective and applicable geographical area

  • Required collection frequency and begin date

  • Tangent Road

  • Collocation information

Monitoring & AQS

Monitor types
Monitor Types





State/local agencies



  • All SLAMS and some Tribal monitors are used for NAAQS determinations

    • If not an FRM/FEM monitor, then don’t report it as a Regulatory monitor

    • Report as “Non-regulatory” and won’t be used in Design Value (DV) calculations

  • PAMS = Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations

  • NCore = National Core multi-pollutant monitoring stations

Monitoring & AQS

Agency roles
Agency Roles

  • Collecting Agency

    • who maintains the instrument in the field?

  • Reporting Agency

    • Who reports the data to AQS?

    • Required for all pollutants

  • Analyzing Agency

    • Who (which lab) analyzes the filters?

  • PQAO (Primary Quality Assurance Organization) Agency

    • Who is responsible for QA, audits, etc?

    • Required for all pollutants

    • Start date no earlier than 1/1/2007

Monitoring & AQS

Exceptional event rule
Exceptional Event Rule

The Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 50.14) allow Ambient Air Quality Measurements that are Exceedances or Violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that are caused by an “Exceptional Event” to be excluded from Attainment demonstrations.

(Exceptional Event Rule = EER)

Monitoring & AQS

Eer aqs process
EER – AQS Process

  • Reporting Agency “flags” data with exceptional Event Flag, and submits justification to EPA

  • Regional office either concurs with exclusion or “non-concurs”

  • AQS computes summaries (daily, quarterly, and annual) that either include or exclude the flagged data, with a unique “Exceptional Data Type ID”

  • AQS Reports will show either summary data flagged with EDT ID

    • 0

      • 0 – No data has been flagged OR

    • 1, 2, and 5

      • 1 – The summary excludes all flagged data

      • 2 – The summary does not exclude any data

      • 5 – The summary excludes regionally concurred flagged data

Monitoring & AQS

Data completeness and certification
Data Completeness and Certification

  • Submission of data

    • sample data should be submitted to AQS by the end of the calendar quarter following the measurement date; ie, measurements from March 5th should be submitted to AQS by June 30th

  • Annual Data Certification

    • For SLAMS and FRM, FEM and ARM SPM stations

    • All PAMS except SPM

    • Calendar year’s data must be certified by May 1st of the following year; ie, CY2010 data must be certified by May 1, 2011

  • What’s needed?

    • Data certification statement signed by the senior air pollution monitoring person from the monitoring agency in the form of a letter to the EPA Regional Administrator

    • AQS summary report

      • AMP450 (QuickLook) for CO, NO2, SO2, ozone, PM10, lead (12128) and PM2.5

      • AMP450NC (QuickLookNonCriteria) for other pollutants, lead (14129)

    • AQS quality assurance report – AMP255 (Data Quality) – for each monitor in the PQAO

      • See 40CFR 58 Appendix A; should be done for each PQAO

Monitoring & AQS