Data Exchange Description
Partners can use the Exchange Network to submit data to EPA’s Air Quality System (AQS). AQS is the national database that contains ambient air quality monitoring data collected by States, Tribes, and local governments. These data are used to determine compliance with clean air standards, assess the nature of air pollution in North America, and assess the exposure of humans to airborne pollutants.
The XML schemas accommodate exchanges with AQS and other Network Partners, enabling Partners to share real-time air quality data. The AQS schema is compliant with the Environmental Sampling and Results (ESAR) data standard. Version 2.2a is backward compatible with v2.1 and v2.0. v3.0 is available only as a review draft.
The Flow Implementation Guide provides a high-level overview of the data flow.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection developed an AQS plugin for the Java OpenNode2. The plugin includes the ability to submit all four types of AQS data (i.e., raw data, accuracy data, precision data, and site monitor information). The plugin and implementation guide are available for download here.
Early Release Draft of v3.0
EPA is releasing this draft of the next major revision (v3.0) to the AQS schema to give EN Partners a preview of the changes. EPA understands that it takes time to implement changes; therefore, we are releasing the draft v3.0 as early as possible. Note that the v3.0 schema may be revised before it is finalized.
V3.0 adds elements necessary for the implementation of the air monitoring program quality assurance procedures. These include new QA transactions and additional monitor metadata. Site and monitor metadata have been changed to better align AQS with physical reality and the intended meanings of terms in the monitoring program. Finally, elements that are no longer needed or that are superseded by the new elements have been deprecated.
It is important to note that for data elements that are not changing, such as raw sample data, the basic structure of the schema from version 2.x to version 3.0 has not changed (i.e., the same structure is used whenever possible). For routine raw sample data submissions, therefore, only minor changes may be necessary. For quality assurance and monitor metadata data submissions, however, changes will be necessary.
Key Implementation Dates
All data collected in calendar year 2015 and beyond must be submitted using v3.0. (i.e., If the collection date of the data is on or after January 01, 2015, the data must be submitted in schema 3.0.)
EPA is using the date of the data (rather than the submittal date) because AQS processes generally operate on a calendar year. The new schema deprecates elements that AQS will not longer allow for data collected beginning in calendar year 2015.
EPA expects to have AQS v3.0 test and production environments available by June 30, 2014.