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AQS Ask the Experts Q&A November 2020

AQS Ask the Experts Questions and Answers November 2020

Q1.  Can Ceilometer data go into AQS?  What is the Parameter CODE?  Is it Called Cloud Height? Is it Called Mixing Height in Meters? Robert D. Day – DC

A1.  EPA is looking at collecting the Ceilometer data using the Unified Profiler Ceilometer Network (UPCN). AAMG plans to write a policy memo that states if agencies are participating in the UPCN, they can forgo their responsibility to load the complicated data set into the AQS network. – Tim Hanley - AAMG

Q2.  IS the AQS data dictionary definition for percent difference, “the relative difference between the known and measured concentrations, expressed as a percentage,” incorrect?  Barb Regynski - SD

A2.  The AQS User is correct and the correction has been made to the AQS Data Dictionary. – Nick Mangus – NADG

Q3.  Are we expecting any procedural changes to the SLAMS report for 2020? – Lisa Wagner – IN

Comment:  I was going to respond to the 2nd question near the beginning where the person asked about procedural changes for the 2020 SLAMS Report.  I think what the person was asking is will there be any changes to the data certification process for the 2020 data due to COVID and missing NPAP and PEP audits and overall data completeness issues related to monitors that may have been shut down due to access issues or whatever caused by COVID.  That wasn’t asked by a Region 4 agency, but many of our agencies call the Data Certification Report the “SLAMS Report”.  It’s part of an older vernacular/terminology that I think was in Part 58 many, many, many, many years ago before we had this Data Cert Report in AQS.  Darren Palmer – R4

A3.  See Question # 27

Q4.  What would cause an AQS report to not open when I generate it but I can send it via email and open it that way? I have tried different web browsers and have the same issue. I am using a laptop. Prior to this issue I was using a desk PC and did not have this problem. Thanks John Wicker IN

A4.  It may be a browser setting that needs to be tweaked, or it may be the result of an IT policy being enforced that is not allowing it to display. But most typically it is caused by a pop-up blocker. The user would need to set up their pop up blocker to allow to open pop-ups. Chris Chapman and Robert Coats – NADG

Q5.  Is it possible (or can you implement an approach) to calculate Pb design values out of non-criteria Pb monitors (i.e. for pollutant codes: 88128 and 82128)?  Byeong-Uk Kim, Ph.D. - GA

A5.  It may be possible, but EPA would need to know the why. Need to understand the reason why and the frequency. Additionally, looking to see if other S/L/T’s have a need for this. Suggest the user continue correspondence with David Mintz of AQAG. Important to consider: Are these sites meeting the quality assurance requirements that would ordinarily be imposed on the criteria pollutant sites and those requirements would be the ones listed in Appendix A of Part 58.  David Mintz – AQAG and Dennis Crumpler – AAMG

Q6.  Is it possible (or can you implement an approach) to show PM10 concentrations (not exceedance frequency) meeting the definition of design values in the design value report? 

Byeong-Uk Kim, Ph.D. - GA

A6.  Are you asking if AQS can compute a concentration based design value for PM10 in addition to the exceedance based calculations that are part of the standard? Need more information. What is the appropriate thing to do and how will we use it?  David Mintz - AQAG 

Q7.  Is EPA still considering an option of having a form that will estimate and report the rolling 3-month averages for Lead (Pb)? Patricia Maliro - MO

A7.  This needs to be balanced against our other priorities.  Chris Chapman - NADG

Q8.  Is EPA considering extending credentials, to the monitoring agencies, to link sites in AQS in coordination with the respective Region Offices?  Patricia Maliro – MO

A8.  This needs to be balanced against our other priorities.  We have tickets in our backlog for this issue. Chris Chapman and Robert Coats - AAMG

Began some guidelines for outlining the process for linking sites. That effort is in progress but as yet unfinished.   David Mintz – AQAG

Q9. Need some clarification on usage of qualifiers. Can they be used on partial days? The INI form requires the whole day to be flagged as its an initial request for exclusion of the whole day. But what about flagging 2 or 3 hours that are high but not an exceptional event? Can a qualifier be inserted in that case?  Of particular interest, IT qualifiers for wildfires.  Phil - Ventura County APCD

A9.  For an Exceptional event, the decision was made to include or exclude an entire day at a time based on regional decision, the user can submit flags and ask of regional contact and they can ask responsible parties how much should be excluded, AQS will allow you to do it. These are informational qualifiers associated with the exceptional events.  Robert Coats - NADG

Comment: I am sure the person asking about changes meant to the SLAMS data certification process

Q10.  What are the plans and timeline for a next generation AQS system.  Jason Treutel – WDNR

A10.  We hope to begin work in 2021, begin with prototyping, no delivery date set for new system.

Chris Chapman - NADG

Q11.  Will AQS be allowed to house experimental PFAS data? We made a request for 36 PFAS parameters to be added several months ago and have experienced an indefinite delay. Jason Treutel – WDNR

A11.  Need to get some background on the issue. The user should ask R5 to look up the last exchange and remind what issue was, or what’s missing. Remember, AAMG didn’t have all the information to set up codes, need parameter and method codes. We don’t currently have an efficient approach to set up codes. Tim Hanley – AAMG

Q12.  When establishing a monitor under the Maintenance Monitor block. What is the difference between Probe Height and Probe Vertical Distance? Also Probe Horizontal Distance is only populated if the monitor is collocated?

A12.  Look on the AQS webpage under Data Dictionary, and the Probe Height is the height of the sampling monitor probe from the ground, in meters, and the Probe Vertical Distance is the vertical distance of the monitor’s probe from the probe’s support structure, in meters. The Probe Horizontal Distance refers to the horizontal distance of the monitors probe from the probe’s support structure, in meters, and has nothing to do with collocation of a monitor. Robert Coats - NADG

Q13.  Will the output format for the AMP300, for the 2015 ozone standard, be updated to three decimals instead of two?  A list of 0.07s and 0.08s is not terribly helpful.

A13. No current plan to do this but we can do it, we will create a ticket and place into the backlog for prioritization. Chris Chapman – NADG

Q14.  Under Monitor Objective Type, you’ll sometimes see “Max Ozone Concentration” for whatever monitor in the CBSA is designated as such. I’ve also seen “Highest Concentration” for ozone. Is there a difference between the two?

A14. Is intended to be where an agency is saying we are placing this monitor to meet network design criteria. More specific way to apply regions want to agree or disagree monitor is in the right place. Highest concentration any generally applicable to any pollutant. Use the max ozone concentration is more specific.  Use Max ozone to signify specifically ozone – Tin Hanley - AAMG

Q15.  Will there be a feature when starting and ending monitors where the date information can be automatically filled in? Maybe a prompt do you want to enter this date for all rows?

A15. This feature is not currently on our radar. Much technical debt, make more user friendly. This may have to wait for new system.

Q16.  When submitting the “Monitor flow rate” for a BAM 1020 flow rate verification, is the actual flow rate displayed by the BAM intended to be submitted here or is it supposed to be the ideal flow rate of 16.67 LPM?

A16. GN – Should not be ideal flow rate for QC check.  This is actual flow displayed by BAM should be a companion measurement what is measured, deal should be this is the actual flow rate of the BAM and not the ideal flow rate

DC – This occurs as a result of performing a verification. Definitely have a flow rate standard and it should be measuring the flow rate and that is what you should be reporting. The calibrator is telling the truth. the bam only tells you what its been programmed to tell you.

TH –The terms we use in how codes are set up and reported are

 The monitor flow rate reads the measured flow rate provided by the monitor, measured not the intended

The assessment flow rate is the flow rate of the flow transfer standard.  The indicated flow of the monitor not the (unintelligible)?????

Q17.  Will there be a feature when starting and ending monitors where the date information can be automatically filled in? Maybe a prompt, do you want to enter this date for all rows?

A17.  Maybe in future version of AQS.

Q18.  Will steps to Qualify or Validate Data after an Exceedance of Critical Criteria Checks be extended to particulate matter? If yes, when?

A18.  GN – DC not sure what question is asking – don’t have plans to do that

RC – may be related to QC checks

TC – not had discussion, nothing in the works, can bring up in QA community

Q19.  Is there any chance we could get an AMP440 work file? It is the Max Values Report.

A19.  Yes, but when?

Q20.  When you make a comment in AQS on data that affects a large range you have to
comment on each data point. I emailed AQS a year ago and they replied that the option to comment on a large portion of data at once was not available.  Is there something in the works that will make commenting easier to encompass a large portion of data?

A20. Need to discuss and possibly create a ticket, no promise high priority.   

Q21.  When shutting down a complete site, it would be nice to be able to streamline shutting down all associated monitors at once-ideally in the same step.

A21.  Discuss and possibly create a ticket

Q22.  Is there a chance we can get null codes permitted on other QA transactions than the 1-point? We have some closures because of COVID that would be great to record in AQS.

A22.  Discuss and possibly create ticket, AAMG put in tickler file, and triage requests, all represent resource challenges

Q23.  To expand on IT qualifier use for wildfire related recordings. It said to be an optional ‘Inform’ qualifier used in place of a Request Exclusion type qualifier and said to be only used when an exclusion of the data will not be requested. Does it mean that IT would be a wrong one to use if we may file EE exclusion later? Which one should be used then? Natalie Kreymer - Ventura County APCD

A23.  RC the people should discuss with regional contacts for exceptional events data

Q24.  Have contact numbers for AQS Help changed? I had difficulty reaching them this fall when I tried 1 866 411 4372, option 9 (and 1 877 827 0260 for ENSC) assistance.

A24.  Yes, no longer option 9, its option 3

Q25.  If you are transitioning to a new AQS, will one of goals be to allow all reports to be available in a workfile format? For instance, the AMP390?

A25.  CC yes , we have that goal now and we will be adding more as time goes on.  This is a priority..  ST goal is be available in workfile.

Q26.  Can a "delete all records" button be added to Correct QA Data forms (as exists for correct raw data), to avoid sometimes having to manually delete hundreds of records individually?

A26.  There is no current plan add such a button, but we do see this as a pain point and will create ticket and prioritize.   Chris Chapman – NADG

Q27.  Do you foresee any changes in the certification process for 2020 data?

A27.  There are no big changes planned for 2020 data

Some changes –

  • In AMP600, column name change from “EPA Concurrence” to “EPA Evaluation Flags”
  • Flow rate verifications for PM2.5, PM10 and Pb, might make it into AMP 600, the criteria for these parameters is located in the guidance documents
  • Amid concerns QAPPs were not being flagged properly, we are double checking to make sure that QAPPs are appropriately flagged
  • For 1 pt QC precisions for Ozone in QA handbook we updated from 7 to 7.1  Trish Curran – AAMG

Q28.  Any updates with incorporating QlikSense in AQS? Or has EPA moved away from this?

A28.  EPA has evaluated this as an option, but the costs made it prohibitive.  We will take what we learned in our research and use that as we move forward in our development of a new system.  Chris Chapman - NADG

Q29.  What is a good AMP report for Quality Control checks?

A29. Several:

AMP 251 show you checks you submitted along with the calculated percent differences

AMP 256 show you the regulatory statistics required by Appendix A

AMP 600 shows a summary of all QA/QC

AMP 504 provides QA data presented as upload transactions, [DC 11/24]

It is recommended to view all 4 as each provides a slightly different view on the data to determine which to use.  Greg Noah - AAMG, Robert Coats - NADG