1.3 Model Development Process

A seven step model development process, followed by AERMIC, resulted in the promulgation

of a regulatory replacement for the ISC3 model, AERMOD. The process followed is as follows:

1) initial model formulation; 2) developmental evaluation; 3) internal peer review and beta

testing; 4) revised model formulation; 5) performance evaluation and sensitivity testing; 6)

external peer review; and 7) submission to EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

(OAQPS) for consideration as a regulatory model.

The initial formulations of AERMOD are summarized in Perry et al. (1994) and Cimorelli

et al. (1996). Once formulated, the model was tested (developmental evaluation) against a

variety of field measurements in order to identify areas needing improvement. The

developmental evaluation provided a basis for selecting formulation options.

This developmental evaluation was conducted using five data bases. Three consisted of

event-based tracer releases, while the other two each contain up to a full year of continuous SO2

measurements. These data bases cover elevated and surface releases, complex and simple

terrain, and rural and urban boundary layers. A description of the early developmental

evaluation is presented in Lee et al. (1995) and in a later report by Lee et al. (1998).

Additionally, a comprehensive peer review (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2002) was

conducted. Many revisions to the original formulation have resulted from this evaluation and

comments received during the peer review, beta testing, and the public forum at EPA’s Sixth

240 CFR Part 51 pages 21506-21546

3Federal Register on May 19, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 98)


Conference on Air Quality Modeling (in 1995). Lee et al. (1998) describe the developmental

evaluation repeated with the current model (i.e., revisions based on the developmental evaluation

and peer review).

In addition, AERMOD


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