Regional Technical Operations Work Group

Haze Event, San Gorgonio Class I Wilderness Area, California Station Fire, plume, California Mesa Verde National Park Class I Area, Colorado Saguaro Cactus, Southern Arizona San Diego, California
Regional Technical Operations Work Group Board-approved Scope


Over the past several years, various efforts by regional, federal, state, and local groups have developed infrastructure upon which the WRAP has established and can effectively operate the WRAP Regional Technical Center to provide technical information that is credible, current, consistent, virtual, and accessible based on input from WRAP members, as described in the WRAP Strategic Plan.

The WRAP Regional Technical Center selected by the RTOWG for regional monitoring, emissions, and modeling data and analysis activities is the Intermountain West Data Warehouse (IWDW) – Western Air Quality Study (WAQS). The IWDW-WAQS also has been and will continue to directly apply resources provided by the IWDW-WAQS Cooperating Agencies sponsoring the IWDW-WAQS to support and deliver WRAP regional modeling work efforts readily adaptable for air quality planning purposes for the NAAQS, Regional Haze, and other programs. The Cooperating Agencies sponsoring the IWDW-WAQS are all active WRAP members.

The focus of the Regional Technical Operations Work Group in the context of the Regional Technical Center includes:
  • Regional analysis in support of planning activities related to emissions and modeling for Class I area visibility and regional haze, as well as ozone, PM, and other indicators across the region.
  • Background and regional transport, international transport, sensitivity and other analyses of emissions data focused on the western U.S. sources.
  • Perform and leverage modeling, data analysis, and contribution assessment studies.
  • Investigation of “background ozone” impacts to western U.S. locations.
  • Coordination and collaboration with the WRAP member-sponsored IWDW-WAQS regional air quality modeling center, and leveraging work by groups including NW-AIRQUEST,EPA-OAQPS, and other state and local agencies performing regional modeling; and
  • Close coordination with other WRAP Work Groups.
The RTOWG also has an important role to coordinate regional communication and knowledge-sharing among WESTAR-WRAP members. The RTOWG will address the members’ programs and implementing their data collection efforts. The RTOWG will provide oversight and coordinate efforts with projects and activities for WESTAR-WRAP and with other groups regionally and nationally, related to emissions and air quality modeling.

The WRAP Regional Technical Center is overseen by WRAP/WESTAR staff and provides data support and decision support for regional inputs to air quality planning in the WRAP region and is comprised of two interrelated components.
  1. Data housed at the Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CSU-CIRA) managed through a cooperative agreement with WESTAR. These data are stored, accessed, and analyzed via the CSU-CIRA Air Data Management System (ADMS).
  2. Websites designed, implemented, and maintained by CSU-CIRA deliver data, analysis results, and decision support for air quality planning activities. Those currently include the Technical Support System, the Federal Land Manager Environmental Database (FED), and the IWDW-WAQS. These websites also provide access to data required to support regional air quality modeling including meteorological, emission inventories, air quality modeling platforms, and monitoring data, and the websites collectively support a variety of western air quality modeling activities.

Responsibilities and Deliverables

These RTOWG Workplan Scope activities are intended to provide a structure and sequence for building and using a regional modeling platform.
  1. Prepare protocol(s) to develop and apply a current modeling platform on a regular cycle, pending available resources, and implement as listed:
    1. Prepare key western emissions inputs
      1. upstream oil & gas
      2. consumer solvents
      3. fire and smoke
      4. all mobile
      5. ammonia
      6. biogenics (esp. isoprene)
      7. windblown dust
      8. other emissions sectors
    2. modeling inputs – boundary conditions, meteorological data
    3. complete comprehensive model performance evaluations (MPEs)
    4. determine projection year(s) of interest and simulate future air quality
    5. finish by projecting future air quality conditions in compliance with EPA guidance

  2. Based on air quality evaluation and planning needs, and available resources, conduct regional analyses using the modeling platform to improve model performance and provide regional results useful to WESTAR-WRAP member agencies:
    1. run emissions sensitivity tests to improve and achieve better model performance;
    2. model future air quality conditions of specific indicators for air quality planning needs;
    3. conduct ozone source apportionment modeling using CAMx Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Assessment tool to apportion source categories and states contributing to regional ozone transport and international contributions and to evaluate control strategies;
    4. conduct ozone source apportionment modeling using the CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Tool to evaluate ozone formation contributions and other questions;
    5. conduct Particulate Matter source apportionment modeling using the CAMx Particulate Source Apportionment Tool to apportion source categories and states contributing to regional transport and international contributions for both PM indicators and Class I area visibility impacts;
    6. apply in studies to evaluate nitrogen and sulfur deposition, including the assessment of critical loads in sensitive ecosystems; and
    7. consider analyses of other pollutants and/or use additional analysis tools and data.

  3. For source categories used in regional photochemical modeling above, compile and prepare methane emissions inventories for greenhouse gases
  4. These would be implemented using resources from member agencies to build a more current year (2020/2021) base year modeling platform development through the IWDW-WAQS effort (a draft 2022-24 workplan is in review by the Cooperators). Substantial funding for contractor support of the above activities from IWDW-WAQS Cooperating Agencies will likely not be available before 2023. This work must take into consideration differing levels of expertise, programmatic approaches, cultural necessities, and needs by WESTAR-WRAP member agency. Several of these activities will involve close coordination within WESTAR-WRAP facilitated by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), as is done with other WRAP Work Groups.

Operations and Reporting

The Co-Chairs will provide a summary report to the TSC at each TSC/WGCo-Chairs meeting, about the status of activities, findings, and work products for the topics described above. The Co-Chairs, with support from WESTAR-WRAP staff, will maintain an active open membership composed of interested state, tribal, local, and federal air agency and land manager experts, and publish the RTOWG membership list and track participation on the Regional Technical Operations Work Group web page. No formal detailed workplan is required but welcome. The RTOWG will have regular virtual or in-person meetings, initially on a quarterly basis to manage activities and provide oversight to projects. Subcommittees or Teams to be defined by the RTOWG will execute, track, and provide oversight for both in-kind and/or contractor-supported RTOWG projects, including the IWDW-WAQS systems, and will meet at self-defined separate intervals. The task-oriented topics and responsibilities for a Subcommittee or Team will be a subset of the bulleted topics above from the Responsibilities and Deliverables section. The leads for Teams and Subcommittees will meet monthly with the RTOWG Co-Chairs to note progress. The topics above will need additional clarification and definition in the process of defining a Subcommittee’s or a Team’s scope, assignments, and intended deliverables in writing. Any Teams and Subcommittees will report regularly to the RTOWG. The RTOWG Co-Chairs will plan and direct the regular calls and meetings, and with assistance from WESTAR-WRAP staff, take the lead in communications and other necessary TSC and Board interaction.

Subcommittees and Teams

None at this time.

Active Projects

None at this time.

Work Products and Materials

Procedures for Making Visibility Projections and Adjusting Glidepaths using the WRAP-WAQS 2014 Modeling Platform (March 1, 2021, final draft)

November 2020 Modeling Scenarios summary table update (PDF) (final)

WRAP/WAQS2014/2028 Regional Haze Modeling Run Specification Sheets (October 2020 update, final)

Sources of emissions sector data for the WRAP RepBase2 and 2028OTBa2 modeling scenarios (September 2020, final)

Work Group Meetings

June 1, 2022 RTOWG Meeting using Teams (notes)

Air Quality Modeling for 2015 Ozone NAAQS Transport, Norm Possiel, EPA OAQPS

Recording (MP4format)

February 16, 2022 RTOWG Meeting using Teams

VOC and ozone measurements in Tucson, AZ, Richard Pepel and Eric Betterton, U. Arizona
MEGAN3 emission factors, stress responses, and urban emissions, Alex Guenther, UC-Irvine
Description and preliminary evaluation of BELD 6 and BEIS 4, Jesse Bash, EPA
OAQPS’ plan for using BELD6/BEIS4 in the 2020NEI, Jeff Vukovich, EPA

Recording (MP4format)

December 14, 2021 RTOWG and IWDW-WAQS Technical Committee Meeting using Teams

Meeting materials

Recording (MP4format)

November 2, 2021 RTOWG Meeting using Teams (Scope and List final versions after WG review during Nov.)

Nov. 29, 2021 final RTOWG Workplan Scope

Nov. 29, 2021 RTOWG Membership List

March 2, 2021 Teams Meeting

Agenda (notes) (recording – MP4 format)
RTOWG Meetings and Materials 2018 through 2020 (click to expand)
December 16, 2020 Teams Meeting

Agenda (notes) July 15, 2020 call and web meeting recording (MP4)
  1. Welcome, Agenda Review, Roll Call – RTOWG Co-Chairs
  2. Review updates to postings at: - Tom
  3. Ramboll presentation topics:
    1. 2028 projection emissions changes and corrections / state review of point sources by July 21st / resulting modeling schedule – Tejas Shah and Ralph Morris
      1. Review Directions (DOCX)
      2. Data Review file (XLSX)
      3. Example FF10 file (CSV)
    2. Review of alternate visibility projection methods - Ralph
    3. PAC1 visibility modeling results - Ralph
  4. Topics for July 23 and 30 Results meetings - Tom
  5. Next steps / action items /next RTOWG call – Co-Chairs
April 29, 2020 call and web meeting

Agenda (notes) March 31, 2020 call

Agenda (notes)
  • Welcome, Roll Call, Agenda Review – Mike, Gail, Kevin
  • Ramboll presentation (PDF)
    • 2028OTBb (future year 'on the books' with 2014v2 fires) results applied to calculate reasonable progress goals
    • Weighted Emissions Potential / Area of Influence (WEP / AOI) results and delivery via browser
    • Review spec sheet for 2028OTBb PSAT and APCA – source categories and regions
  • March 2020 Regional Haze Modeling Plan update – Tom
  • Plans for upcoming RTOWG calls - Mike
March 12, 2020 National Oil & Gas Emissions Committee call – presentation by Brian Timin: EPA 2028 Regional Haze Modeling - Modeled Oil & Gas Impacts

March 12, 2020 call (Agenda) (notes)

Ramboll modeling progress presentation

White Paper -
Potential Procedures for Making 2028 Visibility Projections using the WRAP 2014 Modeling Platform

February 26, 2020 call (Agenda) (notes)

Modeling Progress Report (PDF)

January 22, 2020 Notes

  1. Welcome/agenda review/roll call/notetaking – Mike, Gail, Kevin
  2. Model performance evaluation of CAMx 2014v2 presentation - Ralph Morris (Ramboll) (PDF)
  3. “2014v2 to representative baseline” emissions changes by sector by state, including showing the grid cell state definitions, and EGU unit level “2014v2 to representative baseline” emissions changes in the WRAP region specifically – presentation and spreadsheet review - Tejas Shah (Ramboll) (PPT)
  4. Review spec sheet for upcoming: representative baseline source apportionment run - Ralph Morris (Ramboll) (DOC)
  5. Next RTOWG call (date/time and agenda items) – Mike, Gail, Kevin
November 19, 2019 Call Notes

Agenda Sept. 10, 2019 call

  1. Welcome / Roll Call / Note-taking / Agenda Review – Mike / Kevin / Gail
  2. Review of modeling deliverables and updated schedule – next ~2 months – Ralph (PPT)
  3. White Paper on International Contributions / Boundary Conditions – Mike (PPT)
  4. 2028 Modeling Scenarios – Tom (PDF)
  5. Review agenda items and time/date of next call (Oct. 15th)

August 6, 2019 Call Agenda/Notes

Alaska Visibility Analysis presentation (PPTX)


August 2019 Regional Haze Modeling Plan update (PDF)

Western Modeling Domains (PNG)

Regional Haze Modeling Scenarios – June 20, 2019 (XLSX)

Materials from RTOWG / IWDW-WAQS 2014v1 Shakeout Modeling Platform Results meeting
Friday, April 5, 2019 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM MDT, Denver

Shakeout Deliverables and EPRI International Haze Study (Ralph)

Sensitivity Modeling Comparison Results (Ramboll)
  • Meteorology
  • Biogenics
  • Boundary Conditions

Emissions Processing Results
Air Quality Modeling Results - Model Performance Evaluation (Marco)

IWDW / TSSv2 Ingestion and Data Displays for Shakeout Platform (Shawn)

Modeling Plan and Recommendations (Ralph)

Next Steps and v2 work assignment (Tom)

February 12, 2019 Call Agenda and Notes

Uniform Rate of Progress Adjustment presentation (PPT)

Shakeout Modeling Platform progress report (PPT)

WRAP Workplan – RTOWG Appendix E draft for review (DOC)

August 16, 2018 Notes (PDF)

Fiore presentation (PDF)

Neu presentation (PDF)

Modeling Representativeness Analysis Project

Draft SoW for Analysis of inter-annual variability of meteorology, emissions, and air quality observations in the western US to assess representativeness for regional modeling and air quality planning (Jan. 12, 2018)

Project call #1 – Feb. 9, 2018 Project call #2 – Feb. 22, 2018 (MP4 recording)

Project call #3 – March 15, 2018 (MP4 recording)

Data Review OneNote notebook link. Click to review and comment on data

Project call #4 – April 5, 2018 (MP4 recording)

Project call #5 – April 19, 2018 (MP4 recording) (Ramboll presentation) (PMF analysis report) (PMF analysis appendix)

Final Report (PDF)

Data Displays for Final Report (PDF)

TSC-WGs-Subcommittee Membership (XLS, May 16, 2018)

Reference Material