The project, which includes more than 90 monitoring stations across the US and Canada, assesses the effectiveness of emission reduction efforts by reporting trends in pollutant concentrations and acidic deposition. Most sites have a 10-meter tower, plus a building or enclosure with monitoring equipment. About a dozen have a smaller footprint with just an equipment box and a tower. We provided all ancillary support services, such as electricity, telephone, internet, and land leases for each of the sites.
CASTNET is managed and operated by the EPA in cooperation with dozens of federal, tribal, state, and local partners, including academic professors, graduate students, retired teachers, and farmers, who help maintain the stations for 24/7 data collection.
High-quantity and high-quality
All of the data gathered at the monitoring stations supports the assessment of primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particulate matter. Measurements are also used to assess air pollution impacts to sensitive ecosystems, and applications related to environmental assessments and permitting.
Over the life of this project, hourly data collection has given way to minute and even sub-minute data. Since our people were responsible for all monitoring equipment, information collection and tracking, plus analytical services, our critical deliverable for the EPA was consistent, high-quantity, high-quality data.
The hallmarks of our program include strong QA/QC, an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited analytical chemistry laboratory, a field operation department that performs regular maintenance and deploys new technologies, and a data management group that delivers quality information.
Contractor Performance Assessment Report ratings by EPA during the current and previous contract are “Exceptional” across five out of six categories, with the sixth being a “very good” rating, and EPA frequently cites specific achievements. In 2020, these successes included our management of more than 90 remote monitoring stations, providing high-quality data while managing 10 task orders within budget for the contract year, and the following example activities:
- Maintaining ISO/IEC 17025-accredited analytical chemistry laboratory and field operation department
- Enhancing ozone monitoring at all CASTNET sites to meet additional regulatory requirements and produce concentrations that are now being used by states to assess ozone design values in rural areas
- Developing an ozone dryer system to improve completeness, precision, and accuracy of ozone measurements that is now being used by states
- Providing very responsive service to both the program technical office and the contract office
- Developing and implementing a well-maintained tracking database for all property
- Reducing overall costs by allowing the program technical office the option to install additional monitoring capability
Our effective and longstanding support of this critical EPA program is just one example of our team's decades-long history of partnering with government clients of all sizes to extend and enhance the useful life of their assets, while increasing performance, avoiding downtime and promoting cost savings.