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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 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
“Dave Hostetter sets the example of how an honorable, dynamic, and experienced engineer acts at SCS,” said Paul Mandeville, Senior Vice President and Director of SCS’s offices on the east coast. “Dave serves as a model of what young professionals and students should strive to become in their professional careers; we are very proud of him.”
Dave Hostetter, a recent graduate of the SAME DC Post’s 2015 Leadership Lab was honored to receive the Society of American Military Engineers Honorable Mention for Outstanding Contributions by Young Civilian Member. Dave is a registered professional engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) through the U.S. Green Building Council, and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) at SCS Engineers.
Throughout his career he has focused on three things: using his engineering skills to make a difference in the world, serving his clients wholeheartedly, and mentoring others. These guiding principles have led him through many fields of engineering from HVAC and plumbing engineering to energy engineering to landfill gas engineering to controls system engineering.
From 2012 to 2013 Dave was the site project manager for a large retro-commissioning project of two hospitals in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 3. More than 1,500,000 square feet of building space were retro-commissioned. Throughout this project, he worked diligently to identify hundreds of issues with the building HVAC systems and create recommendations for each one. His recommendations were projected to save the VA approximately $200,000 / year and have an average payback period of approximately 0.2 years.
In 2016 Dave engineered and installed a unique environmental monitoring system for a client at a port in New Jersey. The client had an air monitoring program which required them to monitor the air quality at six different points around the port on a daily basis. Their original process was time-consuming and was, therefore expensive. Dave engineered and installed a system of wireless sensors which communicate air monitoring data back to an online database. This online database allows the client to view current and historical data, it automatically generates a daily summary report, and it sends out alarms when one of the measured parameters exceeds its alarm setpoint. This new system has reduced the client’s expenditure on labor, saved costs and resources, and increased their ability to understand and respond to the results from their environmental monitoring system.
Dave mentors other young professionals at SCS by involving them in real life hands-on engineering projects. These projects include some sort of equipment installation or troubleshooting work which allows the young engineers to actually see how things are installed, ask good questions on how things work, get face-to-face time with a senior level engineer, and learn valuable lessons on risk and safety management in specific situations.
Dave’s expertise was developed as the result of SCS professionals taking the time to mentor him in the same manner, and his goal is to pass the learning technique and knowledge on to others.
Dave lives the SCS Engineers mission statement to:
Clients trust him for his honest and comprehensive approach to their challenges. Dave takes ownership of his work and puts in the time and effort to deliver excellent results and maintain a great relationship with his clients.