Database Findings

Ambient Air

(Ozone, Sox, Nox, Air Toxics, Particulate)


In accordance with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, EPA has required more extensive monitoring of ozone and its precursors in areas with persistently high ozone levels.  Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Sites (PAMS) is an ambient air monitoring site which collects and reports detailed data for volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen oxides, ozone and meteorological parameters. 

The data set is intended to assist modelers and regulatory agencies in predicting days with poor air quality from ozone and fine particulate matter. Each PAMS analyzer is co-sited with ozone and oxides of nitrogen analyzers as well as meteorological instruments to enhance the value of the data generated.  They are sited to meet one of four characteristics:

        1- upwind of urban areas to capture VOC ozone


2- in an area of maximum impact from an urban area generating VOC’s from traffic and industrial processes

3- downwind of an urban area to determine the changes in VOC levels as ozone formation takes place

4- far downwind of an urban area to represent the VOC and ozone precursors leaving the area, and potentially impacting other downwind locations

Current Connecticut PAMS sites represent characteristics 1, 2, and 3 above.

The data set also provides information on selected air toxic components.  However, the PAMS sites are not located in areas meant to optimize air toxic impact at the monitor. PAMS networks typically monitor 56 target hydrocarbons and 2 carbonyl compounds, ozone, oxides of nitrogen (NOx and/or NOy), and meteorological measurements. 


Compliance Analysis Database and Information System (CADIS) is housed at the EPA/Compliance and Field Operations. This database contains data that determines if a facility’s air stacks are within emission compliance. 


Haze Monitoring is not in a database format.  It looks at PM 2.5 data (elemental, organic, ionic species).  Data is sent to Colorado State University and lives in a national database used for regional haze analysis/modeling.  Haze monitoring is used for verifying airmass trajectory analyses and source-receptor modeling. 


Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management’s (NESCAUM) purpose is to exchange technical information, and to promote cooperation and coordination of technical and policy issues regarding air quality control between Northeast states, including New England, NY, and NJ.


The Ambient Air Monitoring network has 25 remote Pc’s and 2 local Pc’s, Poll 1 and Poll 2.  Poll 2 is located at 9 Windsor Ave. Windsor and Poll 1 is located at 79 Elm Street in Hartford.  Poll 2 calls remote Pc’s every 8 hours and uploads the data.  At the end of the month all the data is transferred from poll 2 to poll 1 in Hartford.  The data group then makes all the checks on the data, converts it to AIRS which is the required format and sends it to EPA.

The Ambient air monitoring data base has all the air quality data values.


The EPA has developed a computerized

ozone mapping system (OMS) that will accept near real time ozone data from state and local air

quality management agencies, and generate maps for analysis and public display purposes. The E-DAS Ozone Mapping System module is an ademdum to Ambient data acquisition and reporting system.


The ESC E-DAS for Windows contains most of the criteria pollutants required to be monitored and reported by the State of Connecticut to E.P.A. under the PPA grant. The data in the ESC system (POLL1 & POLL2) are raw unvalidated data. It reports hourly averages for Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen (No, No2, Nox), Ozone and continuous Particulate Matter (PM10 & PM2.5). It also reports hourly averages for Meteorological Parameters: wind speed, wind direction, temperature, dew point, solar radiation, barometric pressure and precipitation. After the data has been Quality Assured it is reported to the AIRS AQS system at NCC in North Carolina.

Our non-continuous data (PM10, sulfates & nitrates) received from the State Health Department are processed on the SAS SAROAD legacy system and converted to AQS format for submission to AIRS.

Our Precision and Accuracy data is processed in an Excel 2000 workbook with Visual Basic for applications used to automate validation, look ups, and generation of transaction files. These files when complete are also submitted to AIRS.

This database contains most of the criteria pollutants required to be monitored and reported by the State of Connecticut to E.P.A. under the PPA grant.


Air Emission Inventory and Point Source/Area/ Mobile (SAS) These two databases (Air Emission Inventory, Point Source/Area/Mobile (SAS)) hold data consisting of Air Emission data from Point Source, Area and Mobile sources.  All this data is sent to the National Emission Inventory Database (NEI).  EPA's National Emission Inventory (NEI) database contains information about sources that emit criteria air pollutants and their precursors, and hazardous air pollutants. The database includes estimates of annual air pollutant emissions from point, nonpoint, and mobile sources in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. EPA collects information about sources and releases an updated version of the NEI database every three years.


Fine Particulate Black Carbon Database:  Fine particulate black carbon (BC) is a ubiquitous component of primary source fine particulate matter (PM2.5), such as that emitted directly from vehicles or boiler stacks.  In contrast, secondary PM2.5 results from chemical transformations of precursor components from sources at distances of hundreds to thousands of miles upwind.  These particles are formed from sulfate, nitrate or ammonium ions in the atmosphere. 


Connecticut DEP monitors BC at multiple sites primarily to obtain information indicating the nature and extent of Connecticut’s local contributions to PM2.5.  Additionally, BC is associated with toxic air pollution, since organic toxics that are usually present in combustion by-products, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have a strong tendency to adsorb to BC particles.  Some of the BC monitoring was funded in part by the National Air Toxic Trends Study (NATTS), stipulating that the BC data be maintained in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS) national database.


The BC database maintained at the Air Bureau serves to store raw data, process raw data into validated mathematically composited one-hour average values, to prepare text files specifically formatted for uploading to the AQS database, to prepare data sets for various purposes as needed for Air Bureau functions, and to perform analyses of trends over time and in comparison with other pollutants and meteorological variables


Ambient Air

Fine Particulate

AIRS/AQS  AIRS is the Aerometric Information Retrieval System, and AQS is the Air Quality Subsystem.  These terms are used somewhat interchangeably, but AQS is the database and AIRS is the overall data structure. 


This is a Federal repository for air quality data, and the ultimate destination for concentration data collected from the CT DEP’s fine particulate (a.k.a. PMFine, or PM2.5) monitoring network.  State Code, County Code, Site Code, Parameter Code, Method Code, Owner Code (POC), Interval, and Date Code identify the data.  Each Monitor has an owner who can submit data and modify data, but any user can retrieve data.  The CT DEP uses AIRS/AQS as a remote database since there is no comprehensive in-house data repository.


The CT DEP, and other state, federal, and regional agencies retrieve data from AIRS for their own uses.  These include characterization of regional air quality, comparison of air data between different regions, and modeling of air pollution events.


Fine Particulate Database QA reporting. Fine Particulate Database/MSAccess QA/Reporting Database.  The CT DEP uses a MSAccess-based data management system to collect, edit, and report data from its Fine Particulate Monitoring Network.  The data comes from hard-copy lab reports (filter weighing), hard-copy field sheets, and performance data downloaded from the actual samplers and imported to the MSAccess database.


This database contains many pieces of peripheral data regarding collection and holding times, sampling parameters, sampler maintenance, ambient conditions, and laboratory conditions, as well as comments from the field and laboratory technicians.  This data is used to ensure that the data complies with the federal standards set forth in the Fine Particulate monitoring guidelines (Federal Register Vol 62, No 138, July 18, 1997; Appendix L to Part 50), and the CT DEP’s internal Quality Assurance Program. 


The primary product of the database is concentration and ancillary data formatted for input to the AIRS/AQS federal data repository.


Drinking Water (Ground water, Surface water, Private well water)

There are four databases that collect data on related water quality issues in CT and may affect the state’s drinking water:  LISWQMP, SQUID, SITS, and Underground Storage Tank databases. 


LISWQMP covers water quality of the CT shoreline and Long Island Sound using sea water and filters and are reported via laboratory reports since 1991.  Dissolved Oxygen, nutrient levels, temperature and salinity concentration levels are collected and provided via media, e-mail and/or hard copy.  The database currently houses approximately 45,000 records. 


Sediment Quality Information Database (SQUID’s) primary goal is to have a “sediment quality information database” that enhances dredging management decisions such as developing sediment testing plans, selecting priority pollutants for testing, evaluating the suitability of sediments for open water disposal, etc.   The database includes all localities proposed for dredging in CT and the NY coast of Long Island Sound.  The database includes the following contaminants:  heavy metals, PCD’s, pesticides, PAH’s.  Approximately 50 – 60 records reported annually.


Spill Incident Tracking System (SITS) was created in 1996 to maintain information resulting from hazardous material(s) reported to the Oil & Chemical Spill Response Division.  Reporting these releases is required by CT General Statutes.  Reports are usually phoned in and entered concurrent to reporting the spill.  This data is used to keep track of where releases have occurred, which ERC was assigned the case or if no one responded, what and how much substance was released, the responsible party if known, whether or not the release entered a water-body and if yes, which one and whether or not the release has been terminated.  With-in the Division, this database is also used to ensure that the ERC’s have completed their reports, planning based on the number of spills, which area of the state they occur and other such planning functions.  The database houses 68,557 records and 8,000 – 9,000 incidents are reported annually.


The Underground Storage Tank Programs have two primary databases - both in Access 2000.  The Underground Storage Tank database contains information on sites with registered underground storage tanks which includes: business name address, owner and operator names and addresses, size, construction and age of tanks, type of products contained in the tanks.  GPS location data is also maintained and is currently accessed through the DEP ECO system. The GPS data is linked to the registration data.  


The Leaking Underground Tank database contains tank sites reporting some kind of release to the DEP.  New sites are added as they are reported to the DEP.  Underground storage tank releases are a subset of releases reported to the DEP Oil and Chemical Spill Division.  Since the DEP does not follow up on all sites, the amount and type of data regarding the release in the database may vary.  Data includes the type of fuel or substance released, actions taken to stop or cleanup the release, the name of the reporting party, location, soil and groundwater sampling results, and an estimate of the size of the release.  There is an estimated 30,000 tanks currently recorded in the database and there are approximately 1,500 releases of commercial and residential tanks annually; there are approximately 10,000 total releases reported in the database to date.


Fish tissue (Mercury, PCB’s)

The Beach Database provides the fundamentals for the Connecticut Water Quality Report to Congress (305b Report).  The Federal Clean Water Act requires each state to assess the quality of its surface and tractable ground waters every two years.  Water quality is assessed in terms of designated uses, such as aquatic life and recreation.  Data has been collected since October, 1995.  Data is collected quarterly and manually entered.  The following records are reported annually:  trips = 100 – 200; samples = 400 – 800; media = 800 – 1600; results = 24,000 – 48,000.


Indoor Air (Including radon)

Monitoring of indoor air quality is under the auspices of DPH. So far one program has been identified as a possible source for indoor air quality information: the Tools for Schools Program. This program trains school staff on protocol for indoor air monitoring.  An identified team at each school uses a check list to review items such as: Is the classroom clean? Have trash cans been collected? Are there any leaks in the roof? How is the ventilation system? and so on.   The information is currently used to make recommendations to the school system.  The program is in an early phase of implementation.



There are two pesticide databases:  Aquatic Pesticide Permits (PAMS) and Private Applicator Pesticide Use.  PAMS is used to track all related pesticide permit application information.  This database has existed since January 1995 and approximately 550 applications are reported annually.


Private Applicator Pesticide Use is a paper database which consists of all restricted pesticide permits individuals apply for.  Maintained since 1987.  Average annual cases and total number of cases are unknown.