Northwest International Air Quality Environmental Science and Technology Consortium



As described in the organizational charter, NW-AIRQUEST operates as a collaborative effort to share information and resources related to advances in measurements and modeling of air quality in our region. These efforts take place through specific studies initiated through normal agency contract procedures and through more general projects where funding is obtained from outside sources (national grants) or from regional EPA funds. In either case, discussions are held monthly by phone to review progress, discuss specific technical problems, and to share results among all of the NW-AIRQUEST participants. The following is a list of recent and current projects that are routinely shared in this manner. To a large extent, each of these projects share the common use of MM5 as a weather model and, in most cases, the use of the SMOKE emissions processing system to supply appropriate emission inventory data files. Transport and chemistry modeling are typically addressed using either the CALPUFF model or the EPA Community Multi-Scale Air Quality Model (CMAQ).

Project Title Sponsor Topic


Ecology (national air toxics grant)

Incorporation of specific gaseous and particulate air toxics into automated daily simulation system and expansion of domain to include Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR


Forest Service

Development and application of automated forecast system for PM2.5 related to forest fires


Ecology, Idaho DEQ

Development and application of automated forecast system for PM2.5 related to agricultural field burning

Climate Change Impact Analysis

EPA STAR grant

Extensive analysis of the impact of future global changes on regional and local air quality in the Pacific Northwest

CMAQ for Region 10


EPA Region 10 has been working to further application of CMAQ, and hosted a informal meeting June 3, 2005 in Seattle to discuss CMAQ and related topics.

Columbia Gorge Footprint Analysis


Analysis of elevated aerosol days at Gorge Improve sites with respect to upwind source areas

Cumulative Effects Analysis


Initial development of modeling framework for consistent analysis methods for addressing cumulative effects related to PSD

El WebCenter


Establishment of an emission inventory data warehouse and resource center for the region

Impact of diesel controls on PM2.5


Initial analysis of the impact of diesel controls on PM2.5 and ozone in Puget Sound

Incorporation of Woodsmoke and Diesel Particulate Emissions into Airpact


Addition of woodsmoke PM2.5 emissions and mobile diesel PM2.5 emissions into the daily automated AIRPACT operations

MM5 Ventilation Products Analysis


Analysis of correlations between MM5 ventilation products and observed pollutant levels

Model Evaluation Overview


An Overview of Model Evaluation; Determine use of model output -- episodic or climatological Model Evaluation Working Group Meeting 200410051500 Topics discussed: - how good is good? - evaluation vs diagnosis - detailed comparison of limited data vs statistical comparison of large data sets - descriptive evaluation vs detailed objective evaluation - process used to obtain agreement - emissions inventory adjustment - substitute physics packages - episode tuning vs annual (or longer) evaluation - representativeness of observations at scale of modeling - handling sparse observations - use ensemble runs - sensitivity to specific key emission categories - producing real meteorology vs accurate meteorology - absolute contribution vw relative conribution - use of standard scoring protocols



Incorporation of NASA satellite data into the NW-AIRQUEST Decision Support Systems: AIRPACT-3, ClearSky, and BlueSky

Nez Perce Project (overview)


The deposition of nitrogen, sulfur and toxic compounds such as mercury and the resulting ecosystems effects is an emerging issue in the Pacific Northwest. Atmospheric deposition results from local, regional and global transport, and transformation in the atmosphere but the effects of the deposition are seen in surface water and ecosystems. Because these problems cross political boundaries and affect multiple media, they often fall through the cracks of the regulatory framework. The purpose of this workgroup is to provide a regional forum for atmospheric deposition issues, to foster coordinated scientific information sharing between monitoring, modeling and emission inventory efforts in the Pacific Northwest, and to explore connections with the research, resources and needs in other media, including water and biota.

PAC2001 PM2.5 Modeling

Environment Canada

Evaluation and analysis of PM2.5 in Vancouver, BC airshed using CMAQ and the PAC2001 field campaign data sets

PBL Improvements

USDA Forest Service

Validation and improvement of MM5 & WRF PBL schemes

PNW2001 aerosol modeling


Evaluation and analysis of PM2.5 and aerosol chemistry and dynamics using CMAQ and the PNW2001 field campaign data sets

Portland 03 Precursor analysis


Development of new source guidelines with respect to ozone precursors in the Portland area

Portland/Vancouver Ozone SIP Modeling


Application of MM5/SMOKE/CMAQ system to Portland/Vancouver ozone episodes and analysis of future control strategies

Reasonable attribution analysis

USDA Forest Service & National Park Service

Development and appliation of an automated system for evaluating and monitoring sources of visibility impairment to Class 1 areas

Smoke model verification

USDA-USDOI Joint Fire Science Plan

Development and application of an automated system for verifying BlueSky dispersion predictions

Spokane Air Toxics Study



Transboundary Transport

Environment Canada

Assessment of the significance of international transboundary transport of air pollutants

Treasure Valley Wintertime PM2.5

EPA EPSCoR grant

Measurement and modeling of PM2.5 during stagnant wintertime conditions in Boise

Civil & Environmental Engineering, PO Box 642910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2910, 509-335-2576