Meeting Notes October 15 and 16, 2002

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Greater Yellowstone Area Clean Air Partnership

Meeting Notes

October 15 and 16, 2002

INEEL Research Center

Idaho Falls, ID

Yellowstone National Park

Mark Story initiated the meeting with Welcome and Introductions, Summary of GYACAP Charter and Activities to date, GYCC overview, and meeting objectives. This is the ninth GYACAP meeting and is one of the few active clean air partnerships.

Mary Maj discussed GYCC (Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee) Overview and Activities. Priorities include land owner/manager coordination and ownership pattern ecosystem effects, watershed restoration, native fishes management, weed management, threatened and endangered species management, and recreation. GYCC has limited dollars available for certain projects (an update of the GYACAP assessment document would be eligible). The GYCC studying winter recreation use and may produce a seamless GIS vegetation layer.
George Ingersoll presented a summary of Patterns in Atmospheric - Deposition Chemistry in Rocky Mountain Snowpacks of 2002. The greatest ammonium concentrations in the Rocky Mountains were found in the GYA area (near Targhee Pass) but loading was similar to 2001. The greatest nitrate concentrations were found in the Colorado/New Mexico area, but the concentrations were lower than 2001. The greatest sulfate concentrations were found around urban areas and power plants, but the concentrations were lower than 2001. A sulfate isotope (34S) is proving to be useful for identifying discrete sources. Interpretation of mercury data is, for several reasons, confounding at this point, but concentrations are similar to 2001. Relative to snowmobiles, ammonium and sulfate are higher along snowmobile travel routes when compared to a few hundred feet off the travel routes. Relative to snowpack chemistry trends in the GYA, ammonium loading has been consistent since 1993; nitrate and sulfate loading may be decreasing.
Mike Abbott discussed his work on Trace Elements and Common Ions in Southeastern Idaho Snow - regional air pollutant tracers for source area emissions (new "receptor" modeling method). The prevailing wind direction from SE Idaho is directly up the Snake River Plain toward Yellowstone National Park. The study comprises the first comprehensive regional fallout measurements across ESRP. There is large input from the Pocatello phosphate industry and from crustral sources. The lowest chemical concentrations are around INEEL. There is limited PCA clustering by site with some changes over time. Results of the new receptor modeling are promising.
Mike Abbott discussed his work on Multi-media (snow, soil, lake sediment, surface water, air) Environmental Sampling for Mercury near a DOE Emission Source in Southeastern Idaho. There is input from INEEL but the concentrations are low. Sediment coring suggests mercury accumulation has increased since the 1850’s but the increase is similar to global increases.
Ted Porwoll presented an Update on Oil and Gas field development activities in SW Wyoming and Lake, Visibility, and NADP Monitoring in the Wind River Range (Bridger Teton and Shoshone NF's). Oil and gas development is very active and continues to expand. Development areas include Jonah II, Pinedale Anticline, Continental Divide/Wamsutter II and South Baggs. Concerns exist with emission constituents and with visibility. Long term monitoring of atmospheric deposition, lake chemistry, and visibility continues at several sites in the Wind River Range.
Aaron Swift informed the group on Idaho DEQ topics. Primary concerns are with crop residue smoke management and construction related dust.
Darla Potter discussed Deposition Data (NADP, CASTNet, Bulk Deposition) for Wyoming and the GYA. She presented an overview of AQRV’s (Air Quality Related Values) and how air pollution creates acid deposition. She discussed NADP (National Atmospheric Deposition Program) in Wyoming and presented graphics that summarize the long-term data. These data (wet deposition) show nitrates may be increasing while sulfates may be decreasing. She presented a summary of CASTNet (Clean Air Status and Trends Network). These data (dry deposition) show nitrates may be increasing in the GYA while sulfates may be decreasing. She also presented data on co-located (NADP and CASTNet) sites (wet and dry). Darla also presented data from the Wind River bulk deposition monitoring.
Bob Hammer presented Revised Forest Service R1/R4 Smoke NEPA guidelines and the SIS model (Smoke Impact Spreadsheet). He and Mark Story showed how the SIS spreadsheet works. The SIS spreadsheet, which is currently under development, uses FOFEM or EPM models to estimate emissions and CALPUFF to disperse emissions. The SIS model, when complete, will become the Forest Service recommended model for smoke analysis in R1/R4.
Bob Habeck, John Coefield, Deb Wolfe, and Trista Glazier informed the group on Montana DEQ topics. Bob shared a Powerpoint on Green Energy Parks program & Dedication of the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities program that was developed by Howard Haines. All Yellowstone Park vehicles are now on some form of alternative fuel, snow machines are being converted to four-stroke, and buildings are being modified to be more energy efficient. John discussed the MT PSD Permitting Process and Ongoing Permit Applications. Much of the discussion centered around the proposed Roundup power plant. NPS visibility analysis indicates some visibility degradation from the potential Roundup plant in Yellowstone a few days of the year. The NPS Denver office is working with Montana DEQ for additional visibility modeling and selection of BACT. Deb talked about MT Visibility Rulemaking. She presented summaries of proposed new rules. There was discussion on differences between impairment certification and regional haze, and how the regional haze process may proceed. It was recommended the federal land managers think hard about their strategy for addressing visibility in Class I areas due to their need to do prescribed burning. Trista presented information on MT RA/RH Visibility Plan update & PM2.5 Nonattainment. PM2.5 monitoring is being conducted in eleven communities. Libby will be designated as non-attainment for PM2.5 although it may be 2003 or 2004 before being fully implemented. The size of the impact zone is not yet determined. Organic carbon from veneer dryers and woodsmoke may be the culprit. Non-attainment designation could result in further restrictions on prescribed burning and wildland burning for resource benefits. The Montana DEQ visibility plan may go to EPA soon. The regional haze emission inventory may begin soon also. Efforts are underway to determine BART-eligible sources. Montana DEQ continues to participate in WRAP and WESTAR and track national issues. Montana DEQ is looking for suggestions on collaboration regarding visibility improvement for both RA and RH visibility planning processes. The group decided a collaboration meeting between at least the Montana DEQ and USFS should occur during the spring of 2003.
Mary Hektner summarized Yellowstone NP topics. She discussed a recently published report on air quality in national parks, the winter use EIS, research on snow machine emissions, and mercury monitoring.
Cara Casten presented a Powerpoint on Carbon Monoxide monitoring at Flagg Ranch. Monitoring suggests CO at Flag Ranch is well below Wyoming standards, is greater during the winter months versus the summer months, is below the supplemental EIS background, and is substantially below West Yellowstone. The Flag Ranch CO monitor, however, is set back about 75 yards from the main snowmobile corridor which may partially account for lower measured CO levels than West Yellowstone.
Field Trip

After the conclusion of the formal meeting at the INEEL, several of the GYACAP members participated in a field trip to Yellowstone National Park air quality monitoring sites. These included the CO monitoring site at the West Entrance (West Yellowstone), IMPROVE, CASTNet, and mercury monitoring at Lake, and the NADP site at Tower Junction. Much discussion occurred concerning monitoring equipment and protocols.

IMPROVE and CASTNet site shelter at the Lake (YNP) monitoring site. A laptop system has been installed for checking and sending data and the condition of monitoring equipment.

Mercury monitoring site at Lake. The mercury monitoring is for wet deposition only so the NADP type gage opens the cover to collect samples during precipitation events.






Mark Story



Mike Abbott



Marilynne Manguba



George Ingersoll



John Ray



Mary Maj



Mary Hektner



Darla Potter



Cara Casten



Aaron Swift



Susan O’Ney




Bob Hammer



John Lott



Jay Dorr



Greg Bevenger



Trista Glazier



Elton E. Erp



Debra Wolfe



Bob Habeck



Harrison Orr



Lala Chambers



Ron Rope



John Coefield



Ted Porwoll



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