In addition, AERMOD underwent a comprehensive performance evaluation (Brode 2002)

designed to assess how well AERMOD’s concentration estimates compare against a variety of

independent data bases and to assess the adequacy of the model for use in regulatory decision

making. That is, how well does the model predict concentrations at the high end of the

concentration distribution? AERMOD was evaluated against five independent data bases (two in

simple terrain and three in complex terrain), each containing one full year of continuous SO2

measurements. Additionally, AERMOD’s performance was compared against the performance

of four other applied, regulatory models: ISC3 (U.S.Environmental Protection Agency 1995),

CTDMPLUS (Perry 1992), RTDM (Paine and Egan 1987) and HPDM (Hanna and Paine 1989;

Hanna and Chang 1993). The performance of these models against AERMOD has been

compared using the procedures in EPA’s “Protocol for Determining the Best Performing Model”

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1992).

On 21 April 2000 EPA proposed2 that AERMOD be adopted as a replacement to ISC3 in

appendix A of the Guideline on Air Quality Models (Code of Federal Regulations 1997). As

such, upon final action, AERMOD would become EPA’s preferred regulatory model for both

simple and complex terrain. Furthermore, on 19 May 2000 EPA announced3 its intention to hold

the Seventh Conference on Air Quality Modeling on 28-29 June 2000. The purpose of this

conference was to receive comments on the April, 2000 proposal. At the Seventh Conference,

results of the performance evaluation and peer review were presented and public comments were

received. Based on these comments AERMOD was revised to incorporate the PRIME

algorithms for building downwash, to remove the dependency on modeling domain in

AERMOD’s complex terrain formulation, and a variety of other less significant issues. A

description of the fully revised model is presented here and in Cimorelli et al. (2004) and Perry

et al. (2003). Performance of the final version of AERMOD is documented in Perry et al. (2003)

and Brode (2002).

1.4 Purpose of Document

The purpose of this document is to provide a comprehensive, detailed description of the

technical formulation of AERMOD


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