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In 2019, state and EPA employees embarked on a journey to identify differences in data codes between state, local, and tribal (SLT) emissions inventory systems and EPA’s National Emissions Inventory (NEI) system. Alongside the Combined Air Emissions Reporting (CAER) Product Design Team, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Minnesota) analyzed emissions inventory code table data from 38 SLTs. They worked to resolve the issues due to differences in the code, identify necessary crosswalks for codes that could not be standardized, and identify missing SLT specific codes for use in the Combined Air Emissions Reporting System (CAERS).

Incorporating SLT specific codes into CAERS is an important step that will minimize the burden for collecting emissions data by facilities and SLTs through CAERS. SLTs with their own codes will be able to retain their codes, while still sending the corresponding codes to the NEI. In addition, the emissions inventory code tables included in an upcoming report will assist SLTs that may want to adopt or modify data elements based on what they learn from their colleagues. Many SLTs create their own emissions inventory codes to facilitate streamlined reporting for the facilities in their jurisdiction. By sharing this information, SLTs can benefit immediately by leveraging the knowledge and experience of their colleagues across the nation.

Continuing this effort, the CAER Product Design Team and Minnesota will investigate problems impacting CAERS that are found in EPA’s online emissions factor repository, retrieval, and development tool, WebFIRE. A separate report is expected in the summer of 2021 identifying issues and outlining potential solutions, and subsequent improvements to WebFIRE will be made on a rolling basis. This team seeks state, local, tribal, and federal participants at varying time commitment levels. If you are interested in learning about or contributing to this work, please reach out to the contacts listed below.

For more information, visit the EPA CAER Project Website; contact a CAER Co-Chair: Julia Gamas of EPA, Tammy Manning of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, or Stacy Knapp of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; or email Kelly Poole of ECOS.