National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool

What is NAQSAT?

The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) is a free online tool that can assist livestock producers and their advisors with identifying opportunities for addressing air emissions from livestock and poultry operations. NAQSAT is based on the most accurate, credible data currently available regarding mitigation strategies for air emissions. The tool considers the influence of diet and feed management, animal housing, manure collection, transfer and storage, land application, mortality management, public perception and on-farm roads on air emissions. NAQSAT is applicable for the following seven animal species: (1) swine, (2) dairy, (3) beef, (4) horse, (5) broiler chicken, (6) laying hens, and (7) turkeys.

Who developed NAQSAT?

NAQSAT was developed with funding from USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) conservation innovation grants through the collaboration of a national team of animal air quality researchers and Extension professionals from 12 land grant universities and 10 industry/producer organizations.

When to use NAQSAT?

NAQSAT is designed for voluntary use by livestock producers and their advisors, including NRCS staff, whenever there is a possibility of an air quality resource concern based on producer interest, complaints, local regulations, etc. The tool may also be used when developing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) for livestock operations. NAQSAT is not intended to provide quantitative emissions data and/or regulatory guidance. Instead, the tool catalogs the technologies and management practices for a given operation, and then estimates the degree to which emission of each air pollutant would change if the technologies and management practices were changed. NAQSAT may not answer all of your questions on air emission management, but will point you in the right direction.

NAQSAT is currently the only tool approved by NRCS for evaluating air quality resource concerns at livestock and poultry operations.  In 2015, NRCS released a national instruction that details when and how to use NAQSAT at confinement-based livestock and poultry operations with a maximum capacity greater than or equal to 300 animal units. Use of NAQSAT for smaller operations (i.e., less than 300 animal units) of these species is also encouraged.

Benefits for producers and advisors

  • Identify areas where there are opportunities to make changes that result in reduced air emissions as compared to current management practices.
  • Compare how different practices or technologies might affect air emissions.
  • Evaluate how a mitigation practice to reduce one pollutant affects other pollutants.
  • Identify mitigation options and cross reference with NRCS practice standards.
  • Run “what if” scenarios before expensive improvement are made.
  • Prioritize investments.

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