Purpose: The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) has been developed for the voluntary use of livestock producers and their advisors or consultants. It is intended to provide assistance to livestock and poultry producers in determining the areas in their operations where there are opportunities to make changes that result in reduced air emissions. Air emissions research from livestock production systems is increasing every year. NAQSAT is based on the most accurate, credible data currently available regarding mitigation strategies for air emissions of ammonia, methane, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide, particulates, and odor.
NAQSAT was designed to provide information and education, only. It is not intended to provide emissions data and/or regulatory guidance. All users receive a report of priority areas where improvements can be made, regardless of the amount of emissions produced by the facility. These priorities are not a reflection of risk, but rather a relative evaluation of current production systems based on the most accurate data and understanding of management systems currently available. The report generated cannot be used to compare one livestock facility to another because the evaluation is of a facility relative to its potential given current understanding of management practices and mitigation options.
Scores for each emission are generated upon online completion of NAQSAT. Scores reflect the degree to which an operation has incorporated all of the possible practices needed that would effectively minimize air emissions from the facility. Trade-offs may exist within a housing type that all categories of emissions cannot effectively be minimized. The tool considers the impact of diet, housing management, manure handling, management, transport, land application of manure, neighbor relations, and internal and nearby road management practices. Once areas where changes could be made are identified, resources to help implement changes are identified for the user. A user can run NAQSAT a second time with a proposed change included to determine the impact a change would have on emissions. Comparing results from multiple runs of the program may highlight unintended consequences where a mitigation measure to reduce one constituent may inadvertently increase one or more other constituents of concern.