ADVM2 environmental consultants were responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the first solar-powered IMPROVE monitoring station in the United States.
ADVM2 environmental consultants were responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the first solar-powered IMPROVE monitoring station in the United States on Ripple Creek Pass. This work was performed near a wilderness area in western Colorado that required snow machines for access over six months of the year. The parameters monitored at this location included wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity, NADP (acid rain), nephelometry, digital imagery, PM10, PM2.5, total elemental analysis, anions (chloride, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, sulfite, and carbonate), and elemental/organic carbon. The station was operated for five years and the data recovery for all parameters exceeded 90%. This station was operated on an EPA 1-in-3 day schedule and despite extremely difficult weather conditions, none of the filter changes was ever missed. Additionally, as the station was funded by a private entity, ADVM2 personnel supervised and managed all the station sampling logistics. We contracted directly with all laboratories to mirror IMPROVE protocols. We coordinated with Chester LabNet to perform the PM2.5, PM10, and elemental analysis. This lab was chosen as the IMPROVE network frequently uses their services when UC Davis is overloaded. We contacted with DRI for the carbon analysis and RTI for the ionic analysis of the filters. This was done to insure maximum comparability with the IMPROVE monitoring network. We worked closely with UC Davis to incorporate the station into their annual audit program. We followed IMPROVE SOPs to the letter. We also provided all the data QA/QC and processing to include submission of the validated data to the VIEWS network at CSU. Our data was accepted unconditionally by the network as an IMPROVE Look-Alike Station. All of the data was transferred into the ADVM2 database via satellite telemetry, subjected to rigorous QA/QC, and transferred into the IMPROVE VIEWS database at Colorado State University.