Kentucky Division of Air Quality Engineers Design Award-Winning Solution to Track Industrial Emissions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2017) – The Division of Air Quality announced today that it had won national recognition for developing a labor-saving tool for anticipating potential industrial air emissions.

DAQ Award
Stuart Spencer, (center) 2018 AAPCA President, presents the Best Practice Award to Ben Matar (left) and Melissa Duff (right) of the Kentucky Division for Air Quality.

Dubbed the Pollutants of Concern or “POC” Table, the new process won a Best Practices Award from the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA). It has attracted attention from air agencies across the country.

The award was presented Sept. 21, 2017 at the 2017 AAPCA Fall business meeting in Raleigh, N.C.  The POC table received the highest score of all submissions from the 20 AAPCA member states. AAPCA is a national organization representing more than 40 state and local air agencies, and senior officials from 20 state environmental agencies currently sit on the AAPCA Board of Directors.

“This new tool was developed by our own engineers,” said DAQ director Sean Alteri.  “In essence, it is an extremely sophisticated calculator that utilizes Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic. The POC Table also allows us to track changes in a facility’s air permit over time, which enables faster turnaround when a facility expands and has to modify its permit.”

From power plants to factories, distilleries to paint booths, there is one thing all industrial processes share: they all emit air pollutants. Calculating and tracking these pollutants – whether potential or actual emissions – is key to protecting Kentucky’s air quality.

So when a new facility wants to build, one of its first steps is to apply for an air permit. The DAQ’s air permitting program ensures that emitting sources operate in a way that minimizes emissions and protects the air we breathe.

For every permitted facility, engineers must calculate all potential emissions from each industrial process – a task that often consumes hours and days of painstaking work.  But thanks to the innovative new approach, DAQ engineers are now able to calculate potential emissions accurately and consistently in a fraction of that time.

The POC Table took more than a year to create and implement, and was a collaborative effort by engineers and scientists at the division.  “This type of innovation by DAQ’s personnel, led by Rick Shewekah and Ben Matar, helps to protect human health by maintaining and improving acceptable air quality for all Kentuckians,” Alteri said.

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