Oil and gas processing facilities, federal and local governments, landfills, land developers, contractors, industries with industrial hygiene plans can spend too much money for too little information if they don’t have an understanding of the limits and capabilities of their equipment and methods before the development of their Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) . That’s before considering the risk to their employees and to public health.
Even if you can’t afford a dedicated air monitoring group, you can eliminate the health risks, overwriting a plan, or overburdening your budget. A cost-benefit analysis and integrating stakeholders’ goals can help provide the guidance you need to develop a balanced air monitoring plan.
Start with this list of considerations when developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP). The list is followed by tips and suggestions which are helpful under specific circumstances.
Location of the monitoring site is initially dependent on the monitoring objective. For example, once it is known that there is a requirement to monitor for peak ambient H2S at a microscale site, it reduces the monitoring site location to specific areas. Hence, the first task when evaluating a possible site location is to determine the scale for which a candidate location can qualify by considering the following:
1. Location and emissions strengths of nearby sources, especially major source;
2. Prevailing wind direction in the area;
3. Nearby uniformity of land use;
4. Nearby population density.
To select locations according to these criteria, it is necessary to have detailed information on the location of emission sources, the geographical variability of ambient pollutant concentrations, meteorological conditions, and population density. Therefore, selection of the number, locations, and types of sampling stations is a complex process. The variability of sources and their intensities of emissions, terrains, meteorological conditions and demographic features require that each network is developed individually. Thus, selection of the network will be based on the best available evidence and on the experience of the decision team.
Developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) can be a daunting task. There are many decisions to make that have downwind ramifications relative to budget, logistical constraints, and labor requirements. In addition, there may be competing goals in regards to the project stakeholders. SCS has the experience developing and implementing air monitoring plans and systems to meet these challenges; including developing site specific and network-wide AMPs for various monitoring objectives. SCS also understands the costs and demands of the implementation of AMPs on industry and government.
If you need to perform Air Monitoring or are in the initial steps of developing an AMP please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for expert advice and guidance specific to your region and industry. We have robust programs and experts nationwide. We can also incorporate the use of remote monitoring controls and monitoring by our FCC authorized drones.
Author: Paul Schafer, SCS’ National Expert Ambient Air Monitoring