Given the issues and uncertainties associated with estimating the elevation at a specific location,

and the potential sensitivity of AERMOD model results to differences in the relative elevations

of sources and nearby receptors, users are discouraged from relying solely on AERMAP-derived

source elevations in regulatory applications of AERMOD, especially for emission sources within

the facility being permitted. These concerns are particularly important with newer facilities

since regrading associated with construction of the facility may not be reflected in the digitized

terrain data. Source elevations based on a reliable plant survey are generally considered to be

the preferred option. If AERMAP-derived source elevations are used for the permitted facility,

then some effort should be made to verify the accuracy of the elevations based on other reliable

information, such as up-to-date topographic maps, taking into account adjustments for the

horizontal datum if necessary. Use of AERMAP-derived elevations for other background

sources included in the modeled inventory is generally of less concern than their use for the

permitted facility, depending on the complexity of the terrain and the distances between sources

within the modeled inventory. To facilitate proper review, the modeling protocol should clearly

document the data and method(s) used to determine source elevations for input to AERMOD.



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