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Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory
An Overview of Inventory Development
This unprecedented initiative was undertaken through a U.S. federal/state/provincial partnership involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the eight Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario. The objective of this ongoing initiative is to present researchers and policy makers with detailed, basin wide data on the source and emission levels of toxic contaminants. Originally focused on 49 toxic air pollutants, the inventory database has been expanded to include 82 toxic air pollutants which have been identified as significant contributors to the contamination of the Great Lakes.
The first phase of this program involved the development of technical specifications for a regional database on toxic air emissions and the selection of a contractor for software development work in Phase 2.
This phase consisted of the development of an automated Regional Air Pollutant Inventory Development System (RAPIDS), emission factor database, and the Air Toxics Emissions Inventory Protocol for the Great Lakes Commission (Completed June 1994) for inventorying hazardous air pollutants to be used by the Great Lakes states in developing a full regional
inventory. As part of Phase 2, U.S. EPA's Factor Information Retrieval System (FIRE) was used to store the emission factors and associated data quality ranking for the 49 air toxic compounds of interest to the Great Lakes states.
Phase 2 work products were developed and tested by the Southwest Lake Michigan pilot states, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin in the Southwest Lake Michigan Urban Areas (Chicago, Milwaukee
and Gary) Urban Area Source Inventory (Completed December 1995).
The U.S. EPA air Pollution Control Cooperative Agreement No. A-995353-01 was
modified to include all Phase 3 work: implementing the protocol and emissions
inventory software to complete a regional toxic air emissions inventory composed
of the eight states and province of Ontario. This resulted in the first annual
Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory.
Each Great Lakes state followed the Air Toxics Emissions Inventory
Protocol for the Great Lakes Commission in developing a statewide inventory and
then electronically populated the region's automated computerized inventory
development system (RAPIDS), housed by the Great Lakes National Program Office of U.S.
EPA. This automated client/server system facilitates the actual compilation and
maintenance of the Great Lakes states' regional toxic inventory for the 49
targeted air toxic compounds and criteria pollutants. Data and reports will be
accessible via the Internet.
The main element of this phase was to examine the feasibility of enhancing
RAPIDS with a mobile source module. This effort included a scoping study that outlined needs, assessed
currently available resources, and identified next steps in software development
and use. In addition, an Internet World Wide Web interface was to be designed to
promote ready access to the toxic emissions data contained in the regional
Work continued under U.S. EPA Air Pollution Control Cooperative Agreement No.
A-995353-03, to complete inventory development work. The Great Lakes
Commission's list of targeted toxic air compounds was increased to 79
pollutants. The RAPIDS software enhancements were expanded to include an
emission estimation module of mobile sources. With the addition of a mobile
source emissions estimator to the existing point and area source emission
estimators, the states and province will conduct the first regional mobile
source toxic air emissions inventory. Summary toxic air emissions data from
point, area, and mobile sources in the binational Great Lakes region for 1996,
will again be published in several formats: in a printed final report; on the
regional air toxics emissions inventory World Wide Web site on the Great Lakes
Information Network (both as an electronic document and as an interactive map).
This phase continued to integrate the RAPIDS system into state/provincial
inventory development efforts in the Great Lakes region. The main focus during
this phase was to collect and process the inventory's second year of data, 1996,
through conduct of a point, area, and mobile sources emissions inventory;
enhance the dissemination of data and information via the World Wide Web; work
toward automation of the transfer of data between the RAPIDS emissions
estimation software and U.S. EPA emission factor software; and, bring selected
industrial sectors into the partnership, sharing in the development and use of
emission estimation techniques.
Commencement of the work on modifying
the RAPIDS software to establish an automated FIRE (U.S. EPA emissions factor
database) upload was completed. This task facilitates ease of distribution of
emission factors throughout the region - assuring consistent use of the latest
and best emission factors available from U.S, EPA. In addition, states will be
able to provide state-developed emission factors back to EPA in FIRE format. The
RAPIDS modifications will ease the process of data transfer from RAPIDS to other
U.S. EPA programs.
Under Cooperative Agreement No. A995353-02-01, Phase Six builds upon existing
developments through Phase Five. The RAPIDS database will be updated with 1998
point-area-mobile emissions inventory data from each of the Great Lakes states
and Ontario. This data will be accessible through a Geographic Information
System (GIS) that is integrated into GLIN. Currently, an Ohio Pilot GIS site has
been developed (http://www.great-lakes.net/gis/online/pilot.html)
to serve data layers over the Internet. This pilot area will be used as a
prototype framework for serving Great Lakes regional inventory data. In
addition, RAPIDS will be enhanced in the following areas: Tier Reports, AIRS
data export and enhanced QA/QC reporting, software/hardware upgrades to improve
user interfaces and create and increase system performance. Further work will be
done to enhance the regional QA/QC efforts. This will ensure that the data meets
the requirements of modelers, other researchers and policy development. In
addition, these inter-state data comparisons will be used to refine the contents
of each state's inventory.
This phase updates RAPIDS with the 1999 inventory for area, point and mobile
sources for each of the Great Lakes states and Ontario. All data will be loaded
to the GLC and GLIN websites and will also be accessible through GIS maps that
have been integrated into GLIN. In addition, RAPIDS will be enhanced in the
following areas: NET export; emission factor selection; reporting, database
integrity and emissions estimator enhancements; software/hardware upgrades to
improve user interfaces and increase system performance.
continues to refine data export models. Data export in varying formats will
become critical in the use and further development of this inventory process.
Continuing to inventory on an annual basis will add to and provide an archival
component to toxics research on the Great Lakes. This phase will allow for trend
analysis among and between years inventoried and be applied to other Great Lakes
research projects requiring the same archival information.
The project will also continue to build regional and binational partnerships
within the Great Lakes basin both the public and private sectors. Established
partners include U.S. EPA National Toxic Inventory, Chicago Cumulative Risk
Initiative, Committee of States of Minnisota Mercury Reduction Initiative, and
Great Primary Metals Project. These and other partners, together with the Great
Lakes Commission team on the Air Toxic Emissions Inventory project, will ensure
the necessary improvements in the characterization of air toxic emission in the
Great Lakes region and the nation.
State efforts to populate the Great
Lakes Regional Inventory system will be required over several years to develop
the quality of data necessary to assess the impacts of toxic emissions to
deposition on the Great Lakes. In addition, the steering committee will need to
continue to meet regularly to jointly determine additions and changes to the
inventory, RAPIDS software and the accompanying emissions inventory protocol.
Once several years of quality controlled/quality assured inventories of
emissions from point, area, and mobile sources have been compiled, the states
and U.S. EPA can begin to work singularly and in concert to define and regulate
sources; evaluate control technology; establish guidelines for siting new
facilities; and reduce airborne deposition of persistent toxic chemicals to the