NESCAUM - MARAMA - EPA 2000 PAMS Assessment
Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) have recently undertaken an assessment of the Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Station (PAMS) network within their respective regions. This investigation has been conducted in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To support this effort, a program of data validation and analysis was carried out between September 2000 and June 2001 by Sonoma Technology, Inc. (STI). This analysis was aimed at identifying potential modifications or revisions of the current network that would result in both increased efficiency and overall usefulness of the program.
The STI contract has now been fulfilled and a final report has been produced which contains numerous specific recommendations for individual monitoring agencies as well as more general recommendations that must be implemented by the region as a whole in order to be effective. The specific recommendations need to be carefully considered by each monitoring agency. The appropriate regional organizations should now consider their role in the future PAMS network.
The STI report is particularly useful in presenting the views of the data analysis community and thus one of the prime end-users of PAMS data. The recommendations presented focus on ways to collect data which will aid in addressing the key data analysis questions that meet the PAMS objectives. Now, these recommendations must be balanced against input from the monitoring community, modelers, air toxics specialists and SIP planners, all of whom have a stake in the PAMS data. The ultimate decisions regarding any changes to the current program will have to be made on state-by-state basis in consultation with the appropriate regional EPA office. However, there is also the potential for effecting change on a national level by engaging EPA staff from the office of air quality planning and standards (OAQPS) through a recently formed PAMS workgroup. Please continue to check this website for future developments as we process the STI analysis and develop plans for implementing specific recommendations.