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30-year monitoring program for EPA provides minute-by-minute data uploads to help protect air quality

Since 1987, Amec Foster Wheeler has been tracking pollutants across the US with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s CASTNET—the Clean Air Status and Trends Network project. With more than 90 remote locations in partnership with federal, state and local agencies, we have played a key role in monitoring the reduction of sulfur, nitrogen, and ozone concentrations in the atmosphere.

Each station consists of a 10-meter tower and a small trailer with monitoring equipment inside. Dozens of local partners, ranging from farmers to grad students, help maintain these stations for 24/7 data collection. Sites have internet service typically provided by cellular modems. Over the years, hourly data collection has given way to minute and sub-minute data. With program responsibility for all monitoring equipment, information collection/tracking, and analytical services, our critical product to EPA is this consistent, high quantity and quality data.

"The project manager and team has been effective at reducing overall costs so the program office can add additional monitoring. Key personnel has remained essentially the same for the past 6 years, reflecting well on the management team.”
Diane Tillison, Contracting Officer

The hallmarks of Amec Foster Wheeler’s program are strong QA/QC, an ISO 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. The results are EPA ratings of “Exceptional” in all program categories since 1987. EPA frequently cites specific program achievements in their reviews, such as:

In 2015, successfully managed more than 90 remote monitoring stations, providing high quality data while coming in $500,000 under budget for contract year 

  • Enhanced ozone monitoring at all CASTNET sites to meet additional regulatory requirements
  • Developed program that is now being used by states to assess ozone design values in rural areas
  • Provided very responsive service to both program technical office as well as contract office
  • Developed and implemented well-maintained tracking database for all property
  • Reduced overall costs of program so that program technical office could install additional monitoring capability
Client:US Environmental Protection Agency
Value:$100 million
Scope:Operation and maintenance of nationwide air monitoring stations and analytical services at EPA-accredited in-house lab
Date:1987 - ongoing