T&B Systems is an international, multi-disciplinary environmental research consulting organization. Its specialties include air quality and meteorological monitoring and quality assurance, modeling and analysis and specialized research and weather forecasting.
Vista Data Vision recently added a QAQC data validation tool to VDV. Working in conjunction with T&B Systems, Vista Data Vision enhanced and adapted the QA/QC module to provide an export tool for outputting data in a format that is compatible for the uploading of ambient air pollution and meteorological data to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Air Quality System (AQS) database.
Vista Data Vision was paramount in producing a validation tool with the QA/QC module enhanced with the AQS formatting and exporting functionality.
USEPA, State, Local and Tribal air pollution control agencies are required to submit validated datasets on a routine basis with the purpose of the following: 1) assess air quality, 2) assist with attainment/non-attainment designation, 3) evaluate State Implementation Plans for non-attainment areas and 4) prepare report for U.S. Congress mandated by the Clean Air Act.
To facilitate this process, the challenge was to take the QA/QC module and enhance the module with the integrated AQS coding, formatting and with the ability to export the data to a format that would output the validated data to a compatible format for AQS data submissions.
T&B Systems contacted Vista Data Vision with the proposed idea of having VDV design and program a platform for the implementation of the AQS tool. VDV had already produced a prototype QA/QC module so having the AQS tool as an option to the QA/QC module was a natural progression.
Work on this project was made possible with the collaboration and financial support of several tribal nations located throughout California and Nevada. These tribes include the Bishop Paiute Tribe, Lone Pine Paiute Tribe, Big Pine Paiute Tribe, Fort Independence Paiute Tribe and the Yerington Paiute Tribe. With assistance provided by T&B Systems including the required coding and datafile formatting as required for AQS data submissions. Vista Data Vision was paramount in producing a validation tool with the QA/QC module enhanced with the AQS formatting and exporting functionality.
Hardware communication and parameters
Equipment at the monitoring sites include the following: Sutron Xlite datalogger, Climatronics and R.M. Young wind speed and direction sensors, temperature and relative humidity sensors, barometric pressure sensors, Kipp & Zonen solar radiation pyranometers and Texas Electronics precipitation gauges. The air quality instrumentation includes particulate and ozone monitors manufactured by Teledyne API and Thermo Scientific.
Data from the monitoring stations are recorded and stored on Sutron Xlite dataloggers. T&B Systems is responsible for routine data polling using AutoPoll software. The dataloggers communicate using either Ethernet communications.
Each of the monitoring locations currently measure several meteorological and ambient air quality parameters including, PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations, Ozone (O3) concentrations, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Air Temperature, Dew Point Temperature, Solar Radiation, Barometric Pressure, Solar Radiation and Precipitation.
With this enhancement made to the QA/QC module, AQS data formatting and exporting from the validated data within the VDV platform has become streamlined.
The duration of the project spanned most of 2019 and into 2020. Currently, tribes have successfully implemented the QA/QC tool with AQS functionality and have uploaded several quarters of datafiles to AQS.